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Medication errors - Essay Example

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Medication errors are mistakes that occur in hospitals during administration and prescription of drugs to patients. Medication errors, depending on the specific circumstances, may have adverse consequences to a patient. Medical errors are classified based on the medication stages and the incidences will vary depending on the study method and definition…
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Download file to see previous pages Electronic prescribing is preferred means of avoiding prescription errors in the sense that the errors that may result due to illegible handwriting, among others. It is required to have a disciplinary approach when solving medical errors by adopting an attitude of not blaming others for avoiding punishments. To avoid these, it is essential to have an open environment that is safe in order to be able to detect the report any medication errors. Medication error incidents vary between two per cent to fourteen percent of all the patients admitted in a hospital. In United States, medication error kills up to seven thousand patients annually, and this accounts for one in every twenty hospitals admissions in all the hospitals. The significant scope for these errors in hospitals is due to the presence of multiple steps that are involved in the medication chain. This process begins during drug prescription to the time when the patient receives drugs. Medical mistakes take place during the planning of a relevant action to take, and it may be based on having relevant knowledge. Other errors are based on the rules laid down, while the rest are slip and technical errors. The various medication errors are also classified based on the place it occurs. ...
escription errors are usually caused by lack of knowledge of the drug prescribed, poor recommendation of drug dosage, using verbal orders during prescription, confusion of the drug names, and even using abbreviations that results in confusion. There are organizational factors, which include inadequate training, having low perception of the importance of prescribing, and lack of self-awareness of this type of error. Errors during medication prescription usually occur because of a multiple factors rather than a single factor (Koch, Gloth and Nay, 2010). Use of electronic prescribing helps in avoiding the prescription risks, and the use of computerized physician order will eliminate use of transcription of orders by nurses and interpretation orders done by pharmacists hence a reduction in prescription errors. Dispensing Errors Dispensing errors basically take place in any stage during dispensing; key actions include selecting wrong drugs for a patient. This type of error occurs primarily when drugs that have similar names, or even appearance, are used. For instance, drugs like Lasix and Losec have proprietary names and when handwritten, they will look similar; therefore, they should be prescribed generally. Moreover, wrong dosage, giving a patient wrong drug, or even using computerized labeling to a wrong patient leading to transposition are other dispensing errors. In order to avoid these errors, it is important to keep interruptions during the dispensing procedures to a minimum level while maintaining the workloads of the pharmacists at a level that is manageable. It is also important to be aware of high risks drugs such as cytotoxic agents; and the introduction of systematic procedures that can be used in dispensing medicines. Administration Errors Errors that occur ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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