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Pharmacist-led educational interventions provided to healthcare providers to reduce medication errors: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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journal contribution
submitted on 2023-06-14, 07:59 and posted on 2023-06-14, 08:57 authored by Myriam Jaam, Lina Mohammad Naseralallah, Tarteel Ali Hussain, Shane Ashley Pawluk


Medication errors are avoidable events that can occur at any stage of the medication use process. They are widespread in healthcare systems and are linked to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Several strategies have been studied to reduce their occurrence including different types of pharmacy-based interventions. One of the main pharmacist-led interventions is educational programs, which seem to have promising benefits.


To describe and compare various pharmacist-led educational interventions delivered to healthcare providers and to evaluate their impact qualitatively and quantitatively on medication error rates.


A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted through searching Cochrane Library, EBSCO, EMBASE, Medline and Google Scholar from inception to June 2020. Only interventional studies that reported medication error rate change after the intervention were included. Two independent authors worked through the data extraction and quality assessment using Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool (CCAT). Summary odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random-effects model for rates of medication errors. Research protocol is available in The International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) under the registration number CRD42019116465.


Twelve studies involving 115058 participants were included. The two main recipients of the educational interventions were nurses and resident physicians. Educational programs involved lectures, posters, practical teaching sessions, audit and feedback method and flash cards of high-risk abbreviations. All studies included educational sessions as part of their program, either alone or in combination with other approaches, and most studies used errors encountered before implementing the intervention to inform the content of these sessions. Educational programs led by a pharmacist were associated with significant reductions in the overall rate of medication errors occurrence (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.65).


Pharmacist-led educational interventions directed to healthcare providers are effective at reducing medication error rates. This review supports the implementation of pharmacist-led educational intervention aimed at reducing medication errors.

Other Information

Published in: PLoS ONE
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English


Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University