It can be hard to identify why prescribing errors are made, never mind how to avoid those causes: the results of interviews with junior doctors in eight Scottish hospitals who made prescribing errors have now been published, shedding some useful light. Their perception was there were multiple causes for each type of error and the authors categorised the conditions that produce errors as: team, environment, individual, task or patient. The study included 40 prescribers, being interviewed about 100 errors.
Ross S. et al. Perceived causes of prescribing errors by junior doctors in hospital inpatients: a study from the PROTECT programme. BMJ Qual Saf 2013; 22:97-102.