Medication Errors in Healthcare A medication error is defined as an event that can be prevented that may cause or lead to harm occurring in a patient (FDA, 2009). These errors are a more common thing than one would think. In the United States alone, it is estimated that approximately 1.5 million patients every year have harm due to a medication error (Agrawal, 2009). Because of this, prevention of medication errors has become of increasingly high importance. Medication errors are costly, not only to the healthcare facilities, but also the patients and families as well. For this reason, it has become of great importance for healthcare facilities to prevent these errors. It is estimated that approximately $3.5 billion is spent on drug related injuries occurring in hospitals alone (MedLaw, 2006). This price includes not only the cost of treatment after the fact, but also the cos t of the incorrect medication used for administration. Regarding the costliness to patients and their families, patient injury or death may occur as a result of a medication error. This may be due to an incorrect drug or perhaps an incorrect dose being administered. The possibility of the patient having an allergy to this incorrect drug administration could also further cause damage as well. When passing medications, ensuring safety and quality in the administration …show more content…
Medication errors occur during prescription, medication delivery, or during administration. This final step, administration, causes the most errors but is the least well studied category in all of the steps. The only ways to detect these errors are by spontaneous reporting, direct observation, or a review of the patient’s chart (Berdot, 2016). Studies and estimates of cases used for statistical purposes are only those who have been detected, and therefore rates could be even greater than
Unver, V., Tastan, S., & Akbayrak, N. (2012). Medication errors: Perspectives of newly graduated and experienced nurses. International Journal Of Nursing Practice, 18(4), 317-324. doi:10.1111/j.1440-172X.2012.02052.x
Medication errors made by medical staff bring about consequences of epidemic proportions. Medical staff includes everyone from providers (medical doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) to pharmacists to nurses (registered and practical). Medication errors account for almost 98,000 deaths in the United States yearly (Tzeng, Yin, & Schneider, 2013). This number only reflects the United States, a small percentage in actuality when looking at the whole world. Medical personnel must take responsibility for their actions and with this responsibility comes accountability in their duties of medication administration. Nurses play a major role in medication error prevention and education and this role distinguishes them as reporters of errors.
A medication error is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or harm to a patient (NCCMERP 2014). The death rate for medication errors averages around 7,000 deaths per year. Lawsuits for medication errors were mainly made against registered nurses because nurses are the last people to check a medication before it is administered. 426 medication error related lawsuits were made against registered nurses. (RightDiagnosis 2014).
Nurses are expected to provide a competent level of care that is indicative of their education, experience, skill, and ability to act on agency policies or procedures. In a study of 1,116 hospitals Bond, Raehl, and Franke (2001) found, “Medication errors occurred in 5.07% of the patients admitted each year to these hospitals. Each hospital experienced a medication error every 22.7 hours (every 19.73 admissions). Medication errors that adversely affected patient care outcomes occurred in 0.25% of all patients admitted to these hospitals/year”(p. 4). This means at least one medication error occurs every 24 hours in those facilities studied, and these are preventable errors. The main responsibilities of nurses when administering medications are to prevent or catch error, and report such error. Even if the physician or prescribing health care professional has made a mistake in the order, it is the nurse’s job to question the
Medication errors in children alone are alarming, but throw an ambulatory care setting into the mix and it spells disaster. When it comes to children and medication in the ambulatory care setting, the dosage range is drastically out of range compared to those that are treated in the hospital setting (Hoyle, J., Davis, A., Putman, K., Trytko, J., Fales, W. , 2011). Children are at a greater risk for dosage errors because each medication has to be calculated individually, and this can lead to more human error. The errors that are occurring are due to lack of training, dosage calculation errors, and lack of safety systems. Medication errors in children who are receiving ambulatory care can avoided by ensuring correct dosage calculation, more in-depth training of personal and safety systems in place.
A newly employed critical care nurse was just about to finish a 12 hour night shift when she realized she had one more patient to administer medication to. It was the busiest Friday night shift she has ever worked due to poor nurse-patient ratio, and the workload felt impossible. She gave her last patient the properly prescribed medication, but failed to notice that the physician hastily wrote an updated dosage for a high risk medication, Digoxin. The patient’s heart rate began to slow down and life-saving procedures had to be activated. Medication errors are “any preventable event that may cause, or lead, to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer
There is a necessity to monitor medication errors as they are responsible for injury in 1 of 25 hospitalised patients. While the medication error rates in hospitals ranges from 4.4 to 59.1%, worldwide reporting of medication errors is less than 5%. A report from Institute of Medicine (IOM) “To err is Human: Building a safer health system” (Nov 1999) stated that 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of medication errors and it is the eighth leading cause of death among Americans. A comprehensive population based Harvard Medical Practice study reported that 4% of medication errors related injury resulted in prolonged hospital stay or disability. It is reported that although 14% of injuries were serious/fatal most of the errors (69%) were preventable errors. United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) reported that 2% of hospital admission was due to ...
Medication errors are among the most common mistakes made in the health care industry. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) defines a medication error as "any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. The magnitude of medication administered contributes to the risk of medication errors. These errors have a vast financial and human impact on the U.S. healthcare system. Medication errors lead to more than 7,000 deaths annually in the United States, as well as an increase
Medication errors pose the greatest risks and consequences in many health care settings, there are many different factors that play a role in medication error. Distractions and frequent interruptions increase the risk of medication error when caring for patients. Multitasking is a major contributing factor to these human factors, it is has been documented that distractions and interruptions along with multitasking leads to medication administration errors (MAEs) (Nelms and Jones, 2011). Medication errors post a major threat to the lives of patients, by increasing the chances of harm, a live changing injury, and even cost the patients their life .
The goal of any medication practice and dispension is to improve the quality of life of the patients while minimizing the medication risk to the patient. Patients are always subject to errors and risk during the medication period. Medication errors include among others prescription errors, dispensing errors, medication administration errors, omission of ordered drugs, timing, and even patient compliance errors (Goldspiel et al., 2015). Health care organizations are centers for care and rescue for patients suffering from different health issues. Therefore, it is the duty of the health care managers and providers to ensure that patients do not develop further health issues and complication due to the medical errors.
However, the reasons regarding these errors can be improved the truth is that errors do occur, and that is tragic although solutions can be made. Some factors contributing to these errors include polypharmacy, constant interruptions while medication preparation or administration is being conducted, along with under reporting incident slips which lead to future errors of the same nature since correction did not occur (Anderson, 2011). The nurse has a responsibility to progress improvements in risks that could impact patient safety by reporting any and all ineffective protocol that has been applied. However, this may not be completely followed through by the nurse due to fear of disciplinary action, guilt, liability of lawsuits, along with having lack of recognizing a medication error or an anonymous error-reporting system (Anderson, 2011). As many more safety and quality problems have surfaced over time some improvements have been created to secure patient safety, yet these improvements are also constant analysis to fine tune any future breaks in the
Keers (2013), conducted a systematic review which included 54 studies of English language publications and found evidence relating to the causes of medication administration errors within hospitals. Prescribing and administering drugs appeared to have the largest association with the greatest number of medication errors. Harm does not specifically have to be caused for medication errors to result. The most common type of unsafe medication error was found to be slips and lapses. Slips and lapses include misidentification of patient/medication, misreading labels, mental state, or forgetting to sign a medication order. The following were all other causes of medication administration errors found to complicate patient safety: knowledge and rule-based
Medication errors are and continue to be a substantial problem in the health care setting. The definition of a medication error is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm” (Brady, 2009). These errors are one of the major causes of harm to a patient while they are in the hospital. Medication errors is not a foreign concept to nursing, and the profession has come a long way in bettering the safety of the medication administration process. However, there is still a staggering number of medication errors that are happening daily. “About 15% of adverse events occurring in hospitals are related to medications” and an estimated 98,000 people in the U.S. die each year from medical errors with a
The reality that medical treatment can harm patients is one that the healthcare community has had to come to terms with over recent years. In particular, adverse events associated with medication appear among the chief causes of this harm while patients reside in hospitals and are known to be responsible for a large proportion of hospital admissions. Preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) occurring during the medication use process in hospitals are associated with additional length of stay and healthcare costs. Prescribing and drug administration appear to be associated with the greatest number of medication errors (MEs), whether harm is caused or not. Recent systematic reviews of medication administration error (MAE) prevalence in healthcare
First we will discuss the problems of medications errors, safety precautions, uses of electronic devices in aiding management of medications and related statistics to medications being given. Furthermore, medication errors are a huge part of the nursing community. Nurses are in charge of giving medications and they are to be held accountable if things are to go wrong. However, sometimes it not exactly the nurses fault if a medication error is to occur. To go a little bit