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Medication Errors and Patient Safety - Essay Example

Medication error is a very common category of medical errors that occur at three critical points during patient care: when ordered by an authorized medical professional, through administration by a nurse and through pharmacist dispensation. According to Ferner and Aronson (2006), a medication error is perceived to be an event that is likely to result in inappropriate use of medication by a patient while under the coordination of a physician. As Ferner and Aronson understand, medication errors are also likely to be caused by healthcare products, professional practice, and procedures including prescription: product labeling, order communication, nomenclature and packaging, monitoring, administration and dispensing. Basically, various medical errors are perceived to be related to wrong medication administration, the wrong dosage while administering medication, or administration of correct medication during the wrong time. Moreover, wrong medication prescription is attributed to various factors. These are inclusive of duplicate therapy, drug interactions, improper indication, and failure to recognize complications. According to Han (2006), the wrong dosage is attributed to various factors. These factors are; decimal point misplacement, inaccurate calculations, incorrect measure units, doses miscopying, and failure to adjust to the changed psychological status of a patient such as dehydration vital signs and renal function impairment. Prescribing errors involve selection of incorrect drugs

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Medication Errors
Running Head: Medication Errors. Medication Errors Name:      Course Title:     Instructor’s Name:       Institution:       Date: Abstract There is a high prevalence of medication errors which result from a number of reasons such as wrong diagnosis, drug selection, prescription, transcription, labeling and packaging-just to mention but a few.
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Traditionally, doctors were the only professionals involved in prescribing, but now, nurses and pharmacists are also involved in prescription other than just taking care of patients (Courtenary and Griffiths, 2010). Majority of medical errors occur during prescription stage and this can be avoided by the use of electronic prescribing.
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This is a situation where either the drugs given are wrong or the procedure used contravenes the standard way of providing healthcare, which causes harm to the patient or even worse death. The most common medication errors are related with the administering of an incorrect dose of medicine largely due to wrongly understood prescription.
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While it can be realized that mistakes can occur through human beings, yet there are certain preventive measures as well that, if followed effectively, can prevent the incidence and occurrences of such errors in medication. The study has researched through some of the secondary sources towards obtaining the safety.
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Medication errors involve failure to prescribe the appropriate therapeutic drug. In addition, they can also involve errors in the components and the synthesis of the drug. Medical errors can be broadly classified from a psychological perspective into mistakes and skill based errors.
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Medication errors may occur in the process of treating the patient since the treatment has several stages. The first stage is whereby the patient visits the doctor and after the doctor examines the patient he prescribes the medication that the patient ought to receive.
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While the financial and economic issues remain considerable, the professional issues are undeniable. Many healthcare professionals are involved in patient care since healthcare is essentially collaborative share of care involving physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and many other personnel.
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As stated by Brailer (2005), the staffs and medical technology that go into American medicine may be the best in the world, but the care that comes out the other side is beset by enough mistakes to make medical error the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease
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Medication errors emerges due to confusion in drugs name, poor communication, packaging problem, labeling problem, misinterpretation of handwriting, incompetent employees in hospital and patients’ misunderstanding on drug
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They can also verify the doses of the drugs. Report systems are a very convenient method for nurses to report their errors more efficiently. This data can be analyzed and used
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for a patient. ...
Such errors are inclusive of quantity, dose, indication, or prescription of drugs that are contradicted. Some contributing factors occur as a result of lack of knowledge on the drugs prescribed, the dose recommended and patient details. Other contributing factors include unreadable handwriting, inaccurate medication history, confusing the name of a drug and inappropriately using the decimal points. Other factors are includes utilizing abbreviations and verbal orders (Han, 2006). Dispensing errors Occurrence of dispensing errors is highly likely when a patient is being administered with medicine. As Han (2006) understands, this occurrence may be triggered by the prescription receipt in the pharmacy. The occurrence rate of dispensing errors is perceived to be 24 percent. From a different perspective, Han maintains that this event be triggered by buying the wrong drugs. In most instances, this occurs with drugs containing similar name or with a similar look. Such incidences have resulted in campaigns that have targeted changing some of these drugs. In the United States, there has been a campaign by Food and Drug Administration to have the Losec changed due to close resemblance with Lasix. This campaign has emerged because Loxec has resulted in numerous fatalities due to confusion. Another error in dispensation is perceived to occur when wrong patient, wrong drug or wrong dose and utilization of computerized labeling have resulted in typing or transportation error. Nurse role in prevention of medication error Han (2006) observes that a healthcare provider with the responsibility of administering medication is exposed to the final opportunity of avoiding a medication error. Mostly in the inpatient setting, nurses are entitled with the responsibility of medical error


An essay "Medication Errors and Patient Safety" claims that medication errors will seemingly be a cost to the hospital in one way or the other. In this article, a medication error is comprehensively analyzed as a sentinel event that results from medical error…
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