Discuss ways of managing medication errors
Running Head: Medication Errors 1
Medication Errors 2
Date of Submission:
Medication errors have been defined as inadequate or inappropriate medical prescriptions that may cause harm to the patient. Such errors are preventable if the right actions are put in place. Recent research cites that over 100,000 medication errors are reported in the US every year. As a result, 7000-9000 American patients die yearly because of medical errors. In that respect, the US government is forced to spend over $40 billion yearly to cater to patients impacted by preventable medication errors (Jacobson, 2021). Common causes of medication errors are misreading or wrong calculations for a dose. Sometimes the nurse or doctor administering the drug may forget vital client characteristics like allergies. At other times, the wrong drug is dispensed from the pharmacy.
There are various ways medication errors can be managed. One of such interventions is a computerized prescription and automated drug distribution system. With a proper computer system, making errors in drug dispensation is minimal. Recent research indicated that medication errors were minimal in electronic prescriptions than in paper-based prescriptions. Out of a total of 320 pediatric who received drug prescription through a computerized system, only 0.6% experienced medication errors (Wimmer et al., 2019). The second intervention is prescriber education. Research done on interventions to reduce medication errors in (2019) indicated that prescriber education resulted in an over 31% decrease in prescription errors (Abuelsoud, 2019).
Having another physician cross-check the prescription can help in reducing medication errors. A minor mistake done by one individual can be identified if another person crosschecks the prescription (Manias, 2018). Even before administration or dispensation of the drugs to the patient, the final nurse can read back the ordered prescription to determine if it’s correct. Proper documentation has been used as an intervention in preventing medication errors. A nurse who does not document a dosage that has already been administered may prompt another nurse to place another order for medications already administered to the patient (Alomari et al., 2018). Such an occurrence can lead to overdosage. In a similar scenario, the nurse must read the prescription label very well to prevent giving the wrong dose to the patient. Lastly, correct labeling of a dosage can be used to reduce or prevent medication errors. For instance, a label of 1.25g may be taken for 125 g if the prescription officer does not put a decimal point as required. Also, some drugs have close names which must be well indicated to prevent confusion and hence medical errors (Rodziewicz et al., 2018).
Abuelsoud, N. (2019). Pharmacy quality improvement project to enhance the medication management process in pediatric patients. Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971-), 188(2), 591-600.
Alomari, A., Wilson, V., Solman, A., Bajorek, B., & Tinsley, P. (2018). Pediatric nurses’ perceptions of medication safety and medication error: a mixed-methods study. Comprehensive Child and adolescent nursing, 41(2), 94-110.
Manias, E. (2018). Effects of interdisciplinary collaboration in hospitals on medication errors: an integrative review. Expert opinion on drug safety, 17(3), 259-275.
Rodziewicz, T. L., Houseman, B., & Hipskind, J. E. (2018). Medical error prevention.
Wimmer, S., Toni, I., Trollmann, R., Rascher, W., & Neubert, A. (2019). P106 Impact of a computerized physician order entry system on medication safety in pediatrics.