American Pharmacists Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Medication Error Disclosure

  • Jennifer L. Mazan Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy
  • Margaret K. Lee Intermountain Healthcare
  • Ana C. Quiñones-Boex Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy


Background: Patient safety places emphasis on full disclosure, transparency, and a commitment to prevent future errors. Studies addressing the disclosure of medication errors in the profession of pharmacy are lacking.

Objective: This study examined attitudes and behaviors of American pharmacists regarding medication errors and their disclosure to patients.

Methods: A 4-page questionnaire was mailed to a nationwide random sample of 2,002 pharmacists. It included items to assess pharmacists’ knowledge of and experience with medication errors and their disclosure. The data was collected over three months and analyzed using IBM SPSS 22.0. The study received IRB exempt status.

Results: The response rate was 12.6% (n = 252). The average pharmacist respondent was a 57-year old (+ 12.1 years), Caucasian (79.8%), male (59.9%), with a BS Pharmacy degree (73.8%), and licensed for 33 years (+ 12.8 years). Most respondents were employed in a hospital (26.4%) or community (31.0 %) setting and held staff (30.9%), manager (29.1%), or clinical staff (20.6%) positions.  Respondents reported having been involved in a medication error as a patient (31.0%) or a pharmacist (95.5%). The data suggest that full disclosure is not being achieved by pharmacists. Significant differences in some attitudes and behaviors were uncovered when community pharmacists were compared to their hospital counterparts. 

Conclusion: There is room for improvement regarding proper medication error disclosure by pharmacists.


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Received 2020-07-06
Accepted 2020-07-21
Published 2020-12-15
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research