Nearly every nursing home resident in Copenhagen has been given the wrong medication, report says

Doctors refute damning report, saying bar for error was set “too low”

Virtually every senior citizen in a Copenhagen nursing home has been given the wrong medication at one time or the other. 

A report prepared by the municipality in cooperation with several pharmacies examined the medications given to more than 1,800 elderly nursing home residents medicines. The findings showed that irregularities occurred in 99 percent of the cases.

“It is significant that we found something to report in almost in every case,”  Bent Halling-Sørensen, a board member of the Danish Pharmaceutical Association and coordinator of the report, told Politiken. “These findings are important for the patient’s health and their quality of life.”

A high number
Mistakes included wrong or inappropriate drugs being administered, incorrect dosages, or a complete lack of medication. The findings were reported to the management of the facilities for elderly residents, and about 90 percent of the errors were corrected after three months.

READ MORE: Thousands dying from hospital errors each year

Halling-Sørensen said that the pharmaceutical association has attempted for years to have a pharmacist monitor the cases of residents receiving five or more types of medication.

A low bar
Michael Dupont, a practicing physician and president of the medical association’s pharmaceutical committee downplayed the errors reported in the study.

“If there were really that many mistakes, it’s a wonder that people are still alive,” Dupont told Politiken. “For that many mistakes and irregularities to be reported, there must have a very low bar for what is considered a mistake or worth reporting.”




  • Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Norway, Spain and Ireland have announced that they will formally recognise Palestine as a state. A furious Israel has recalled its envoys from Dublin, Oslo and Madrid for emergency consultations. Denmark says it will only recognise Palestine under a two-state solution.

  • Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Publisher Jesper Skeel and Korean BBQ restaurant chain owner Zen discuss the ups and downs of independent entrepreneurship and how to crack the Copenhagen market, from both an international and Danish perspective.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    As popular protests of the Israeli offensive in Gaza erupt around the world and in the media, from university campuses to the streets of major cities, discord is escalating between demonstrators, the general public, authorities and politicians.

  • Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    A fire broke out at a Novo Nordisk site in Bagsværd on Wednesday morning. There have been no casualties, but the fire is “extensive and spreading”, and Novo’s administrative building “cannot be saved” say emergency services.

  • Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Just one day after the EU finally landed its New Pact on Migration and Asylum following four years of tough negotiations, a group of 15 member states, led by Denmark, issued a joint call for greater efforts to outsource migration policy and  prevent migrants from arriving at EU borders in the first place.

  • How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    Many of us Danes, despite being well-educated and well-travelled, often lack experience in navigating cultural differences at work. This can lead to ‘cultural bypassing’, where we believe we are at a level of enlightenment where we no longer are burdened by the risk of making cross-cultural mistakes. As their manager, you can help your Danish colleagues by acknowledging cultural differences in the workplace.