Medication Errors in Clinical Settings - Detection and Risk Management

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Introduction Medications are used as one of the interventional strategies in the prevention and management of various ailments. Although medications are useful to patients, when used inappropriately, they are not only harmful to patients but also impair the reputation of physicians. Medication Errors (MEs) are known to occur in the healthcare setting. According to National Coordination Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCCMERP) medication errors are defined as “Any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of a healthcare professional, patient or consumer”. Medication errors occur when a healthcare professional performs an act that fails to achieve the intended goal or due to imperfect execution. Importance of reporting and monitoring medication errors 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 ... ... middle of paper ... ...y B. Carothers. Medication Errors: The Problem and Its Scope. Int J Trauma Nurs 1998; 4:104-108. 2. Sarah EM, Harriet SF, Robin EF. The Pathophysiology of medication errors: How and where they arise. BJCP 2009 Mar 18; 67(6): 605-613. 3. The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention. 2005 Dec. http://www.nccmerp.org 4. Philip Sehneider. Medication errors. In: A Textbook of Clinical Pharmacy Practice: Essential Concepts and Skills. Editors: G. Parthasarathi, Karin – Nyfort-Hansen and Milap Nahata. 1st Edition 2009; 424-442. 5. Revikumar KG, Miglani B.D. Medication errors. A text book of Pharmacy Practice.1st edition. Career publications, Maharashtra, 2009. 6. Aronson JK. Medication errors: Emerging solutions. BJCP 2009; 67(6): 589-591. 7. Paul DM. Role of Pharmacist in Reducing Medication Errors. J Surg Onch 2004; 88: 189-194.
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