Peth reported possible causes of medication errors in the Emergency Department. These are divided along the stages of the medication process, including transcription. The authors are from the University of Missouri.

Ways to reduce transcription errors:

(1) write clearly and neatly

(2) standardize prescribing vocabulary, avoiding apothecary terms and units that may be misinterpreted

(3) eliminate ambiguities in drug names and dosing information

(4) include the drug's indication on all prescriptions

(5) avoid acronyms and abbreviations

(6) avoid sources of confusion in written orders, especially trailing zeros

(7) avoid verbal orders and write orders whenever possible

(8) include the prescriber's phone or pager number on the prescription (to allow communication if there are questions)

(9) use an electronic ordering system whenever possible


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.