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Illegible handwritten orders and ambiguous orders written in MARs or patient profiles further contribute to these medical errors. Moreover, other factors that also contribute are an incomplete medication orders such as missing dose or route, abbreviations misunderstood (Appendix B) (Davis N.M., 2005), and spoken orders misheard. According to Cohen M.R. (2007), nurses’ who contributes to MAE fail to identify the patient (checked ID band, allergy band, MAR sheet), unable to share correct information during the shift report and ineffective communication. In the above methadone case scenario, the nurse was unable to communicate adequately with the physician and her co-workers.
Clarification in the case of doubt is a weapon against order transcription error. Most nurses have poor concentration due to the amount of their work load that they could hardly call back the doctor to clarify either the order clearly written or an illegible order, then arriving to their own assumption. Administering medication later than specified time ordered or missed medication is an area of issue. Some prophylactics given before or after according to specified order are lifesavers. When a patient is scheduled for a surgery, prophylactic anticoagulant is administered to prevent clots and perhaps continues post-op.
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