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Predictors of Medication Errors in Elderly in Nursing Homes - Research Paper Example

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A paper "Predictors of Medication Errors in Elderly in Nursing Homes" reports that one outstanding factor that leads to the failure of this all-important healthcare expectation is medication error.  Medication errors occur when drugs are administered either in a wrong proportion…
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Predictors of Medication Errors in Elderly in Nursing Homes
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Download file to see previous pages The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (2011) explains that "A medication error is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer.” This means that medication errors do not only occur at the hands of medical professionals. In this essay, the writer review predictors of medication errors in elderly in nursing homes. This means that the bulk of the writer’s attention shall be based on factors that medical practitioners in nursing homes and taking care of elderly people can use to predict possible medication errors. As seen in the definition of medication errors, the writer’s view of predictors shall be varying and widespread, not centering only on the health practitioner but on all other causative factors including patients and consumers. Predictors of Medication Errors in Elderly This section of the essay reviews five major predictors of medication errors that can take place among elderly people in nursing homes. Number of Home Medications The fact that elder people under consideration are based on nursing homes should not eradicate the possibility of medication error occurring as a result of a number of home medications. Nursing officers and other health professionals taking care of elderly people in nursing homes must predict the fact that once admitted at the home, the history of a number of home medications received by patients before their admission at the nursing home can interfere with the efficacy and functions of medications administered to them at the nursing home. For this reason, it is rightly appropriate that nursing and other health professionals have a fair idea of medications patients on admission might have received at home before being admitted. Over the years, it is because nursing practitioners have been negligent of the need to assess the number of home medications taken by elderly patients admitted at the nursing homes that Prasanatikom and Madigan (2004) concluded in a research that “incidence of medication error was highest at the first visit (23.5%)” Self-administration of medication Self-administration of medication is something that is common among elderly patients in nursing homes. Pollick explains that self-administration of medication or self-medication is the “practice of using illicit or legal drugs without proper medical supervision is known as self-medication.” The commonest cause given to the problem of self-administration of medication among elderly patients in nursing homes has been found to be over anxiety among the elderly patients (Akakpo, 2003). As a matter of fact, due to degeneration psychological problems among elderly patients, they tend to be very anxious about their health and always have a feeling that taking medications in overdose or taking extra medications aside what is prescribed for them may lead to a quick recovery of their health. Health practitioners in nursing homes must, therefore, have a forecasted knowledge that if self-administration of medication takes place among their patients, the patients risk the problem of medication error because there is the tendency of self-medicated drugs conflicting with the functions of prescribed drugs.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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