Medication errors and processes to reduce them in care homes in the United Kingdom: a scoping review

Malcolm William Irons, Asa Auta, Jane Caroline Portlock, Andrea Manfrin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Medicines-related incidents are a leading cause of preventable harm across all patient groups, including care home residents. Despite national guidance, there is little information on assessing medication error rates and evaluating changes to reduce them. This review explored the scientific and gray literature on medicine-related incidents, causation and evaluation of changes in care homes in the United Kingdom. The research identified 2951 documents, 32 analyzed; some of them covered more than one area. Seven reported rate and causes, eleven causes, eleven made recommendations, and four reported the evaluation of changes to processes and systems. Three areas emerged; 1) medicine-related incident rates ranged between 1% and 38%, 2) incident rates increased where formulations were not tablets or capsules ranging from 12% to 50% depending on the formulation, 3) three evaluations of changes aimed at reducing medicine incidents. Therefore, information on medicine-related incidents in care homes is available, but not systematically described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-123
Number of pages33
JournalHome Health Care Services Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2022


  • Medicines
  • car homes
  • errors
  • incidents


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