Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (GARJMMS) ISSN: 2315-5159
December 2013 Special Issue Vol. 2(12), pp. 264-272
Copyright © 2013 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Medication errors and adverse drug events studies: A social network analysis

Hung-Chi Huang1,2*, Cheng-Hua Wang2 and Pi-Ching Chen3

1Department of Medical Management, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, R.O.C.
2Graduate School of Business and Operations Management, Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan, R.O.C.
3Department of International Business, Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:; Phone: 886-7-3468003; Fax: 886-7-3468316

Accepted 06 December, 2013


Medication errors and adverse drug events are a key concern of the healthcare industry. This study maps the intellectual structure of the studies of medication errors and adverse drug events, and investigates the development path of this literature and inter-relationships among the main topics. We searched the Web of Science database collection and obtained 789 relevant articles published from 1965 to 2011. Cited references were also profiled and analyzed using the methods of co-citation, factor analysis and social network analysis. The results show that the literature on medication errors focused on three key themes between 1965 and 2011 that included namely adverse events and human errors, computerized physician order entry systems, and medication errors in pediatric hospitals. The adverse drug events literature published between 1987 and 2011 focused on adverse drug events and prevention, adverse drug events in outpatients, and adverse drug events in hospitalized patients. This study also found the following development path for the adverse drug events literature: detection, analysis, effect, prevention, and from an adult inpatient to pediatric inpatient setting, and from hospitalized care to ambulatory care. This paper introduces researchers to profile key themes and their relationships, which can help both academics and practitioners in the healthcare industry to improve patient safety.

Keywords: Medication errors, adverse drug events, patient safety, social network analysis


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