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Medication errors - Essay Example

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Managing medication errors University affiliation: Title: Managing medication errors Medication errors generally happen when a medical officer uses an inappropriate means to administer treatment to a patient and often are considered a human error (Clinic, 2011)…
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Download file to see previous pages In addition misdiagnosis and fatigue while attending to patients account to a large percentage of the errors. There are several instances throughout the medical process where medical errors can occur right from diagnosing the patient to the point where treatment is prescribed and administered by the relevant parties. Among these instances include documentation, dispensing, administering and monitoring a majority of which are carried out by nurses. This places a large responsibility on their hands and explains why medication errors and the safety of the patients lie at the core of being a nurse. The roles medical practitioners play in the occurrence of medical errors clearly cannot be overruled and it therefore goes without say, clear guidelines and procedures will go a long way in managing them (Clinic, 2011). This paper will outline the cause of medical errors, its prevention how it is reported and steps that could be taken to ensure the safety of patients. From the approach that human errors amount to the greatest percentage of medical errors there are two angles medication errors can be viewed from. The first angle looks at the error as being caused by human frailty. Poorly paid, overworked and unmotivated employees tend to overlook a number of critical issues which are crucial and if unattended amount to medical errors. Similarly human nature such as forgetfulness, not paying attention to details or even negligence of laid down procedures while administering care to patient’s directly cause medical errors. The second approach on the contrary views these errors in the medical field as being caused by a combination of factors surrounding the institutions. There exists an array of issues among them a broken line of communication that leads to decisions amongst practitioners being made based on partial or wrong information. This approach looks at the errors as being caused by the systems in place and for this reason they are bound to occur unless the correct measures are taken to prevent them. Based on this, much as human error may stands as the principle cause of medication errors, the conditions surrounding nurses and other medical staff go a long way in determining the safety of patients and in the long run preventing these errors. Even though issues handled within the hospital are diverse every one of which has a unique way of solving, most errors are recurrent and tend to fall into a pattern and therefore changes in the right policies will advertently reduce the number of medical errors. Furthermore it is important to note even the most meticulous and the very best of professionals make mistakes and placing such errors squarely on medical officers is a definite oversight. An error could occur as early as in the diagnosis stage of a patient or during the latter stages of administering treatment and drugs. All medical staff involved in this process can be the cause of such an error and therefore are directly or indirectly affected by its effects. Patients largely sit on the receiving end of medical errors and tend to carry the burden of its adverse effects. In the case of a misdiagnosis they get the wrong treatment and will still have to seek treatment again over and above the fact that they may suffer from deadly side effects if not fatal. These additional treatment costs impact heavily on the hospitals financials. In addition the hospitals reputation is spoilt due to malpractice and possible ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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