How Technology Can Aid Patient Safety During The Medication Administration Process

How Technology Can Aid Patient Safety During The Medication Administration Process

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Emerging Technology
Administration of medication is a vital part of the clinical nursing practice however in turn has great potential in producing medication errors (Athanasakis 2012). It has been reported that over 7,000 deaths have occur per year related to medications errors within the US (Flynn, Liang, Dickson, Xie, & Suh, 2012). A patient in the hospital may be exposed to at least one error a day that could have been prevented (Flynn, Liang, Dickson, Xie, & Suh, 2012). Working in a professional nursing practice setting, the primary goal is the nurse and staff places the patient first and provides the upmost quality care with significance on safety. There are several different types of technology that can be used to improve the medication process and will aid staff in reaching a higher level of care involving patient safety. One tool that can and should be utilized in preventing medication errors is barcode technology. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how implementing technology can aid patient safety during the medication administration process.
Defining medication error
What classifies as a Medication errors? An error can occur any time during the medication administration process. A medication error can be explained 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 healthcare professional, patient, or consumer” (National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, 2014, para 1). Rather it is at prescribing, transcribing, dispensing or at the time of administration all these areas are equally substantial in producing possible errors that could potentially harm the patient (Flynn, Liang...


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...ide will validate the correct medication, dose, time route and patient during the medication process (Seibert, Maddox, Flynn, & Williams 2014). With any new technology there could be a few issues or problems associated with a learning curve. One is being work-arounds of the system that staff may exercise which cause lead to different or increase of errors. Ignoring overrides warnings as they displayed to the user could create issues as well. Medication errors are still likely to happen during the medication process however barcode technology can help reduce the frequency by providing a safety net within the process. The main goal for the nurse during medication administration is that the patient receives the correct medications with no adverse reaction and barcode technology can assist preventing errors during the process (Seibert, Maddox, Flynn, & Williams 2014).

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