Different Ways of Preventing Medication Errors Term Paper

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¶ … Preventing Medication Errors

Definition of Mediation Errors (National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention)

Medication Errors by Medical Staff

Right Drug

Right Dose

Right Patient

Right Time

Right Route

Medication Errors Made by the Patient at home

Preventing Medication Errors at the Pharmacy

Strategies for Hospitals to improve patient outcome and decrease medication errors.

The National Coordinating Council for Mediation Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication error as "Any preventable event that may cause or lead to in appropriate mediation use of patient harm while the medication is under the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such event may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication, product labeling, packaging and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education monitoring and use."

Medication errors by Nurses

It is the legal responsibility of all nurses to apply the five rights of administering medication. This is known as a standard of care.

1. Right drug

Ways of preventing the wrong drug being administered include:

Verbal orders should always be repeated to the person giving them

Do not use product or dosage abbreviations

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Make sure you have the "route" of administration correct

Trailing zeros should never be used (30 is correct, not 30.0)

Never guess at illegible orders

If there is any question ask the doctor or pharmacist

Check the medication label and dosage against the written order three times before giving it

Always know what the drug's intended use for the patient

2. Right Dose

Term Paper on Different Ways of Preventing Medication Errors Assignment

Medication errors are often made due to math errors in calculation. To remedy many of these errors always have a second person verify the calculations and final dosage. Wrong dosages are often ordered if the patient's age, size and vital signs have not been properly assessed. The nurse has a responsibility to assess these prior to giving the medication.

3. Right Time

The nurse can assist in avoiding mediation problems by adhering to the appropriate schedules. Some drugs may interfere with other drugs or there may be a drug-food interaction.

4. Right Route

Medication errors occur frequently due to negligent route administration. This is especially true with IV or injected drugs that could also be taken orally. The nurse must be sure of the route of administration before giving it to the patient. This could be a deadly mistake.

5. Right Patient

Administering medication to the wrong patient happens much too often. It is essential that the patient's ID bracelet be checked; along with having the patient state his/her name. (Kathy Quan)

Medication doses should always be given at the scheduled time unless there are questions or problems to be resolved. Medicines should only be removed from their packaging or labeling immediately prior to giving it. Nurses must document as soon as drug is given.

(Davis NM, Cohen MR)

Medication Errors Made by the Patient

Some patients have a problem swallowing pills and they attempt to crush, break, chew or dissolve the pill in water. Many pills have a long acting effect and by doing this it could cause a severe reaction by releasing too fast. A remedy for this occurrence would be patient education and getting a history of medication problems (ingestion) and previous compliance. Many drugs come in a liquid form, which could be tolerated better than a pill form.

Patients like to keep old medications past their expiration date and use them instead of calling the doctor. Toxicity can occur with some outdated medicines. Again, patient education is most valuable tool.

Patients with multiple problems and numerous medicines, in addition to different doctors/specialists will often get confused regarding which is the current prescribed medication and may be taking 2 or more medicines for the condition. The patient should be taught to take ALL medications (including over the counter and herbal products) to each and every doctor's visit for review by the physician or… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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