Medical errors are the eighth-leading cause of death in the United States. Various medical errors contribute to this statistic, but the most common errors in the healthcare setting are medication errors. Medication errors account for 7,000 deaths per year. Many if not all medication errors can be prevented. These errors are often the result of a breakdown in the systematic safety procedures healthcare facilities implement to prevent them. Even though a systematic problem is more likely to cause a medication error than personal attributes (e.g. carelessness) nurses are frequently held accountable for these mistakes. Nurses are often the ones who administer the medication, and are the last link in the chain. Medication errors can result in a nurse losing her job or possibly her career. Therefor it is important for nurses to be able to identify the major factors that contribute to medication errors, and weak links in healthcare organizations communication structures. Research has developed conceptual models that healthcare facilities can use to determine the reason a medication error occurred. Healthcare facilities and the nurses they employ can both benefit from this research, by using it to help develop their medication safety guidelines. By implementing a medication administering system that effectively integrates technology, communication, and patient-centered care, healthcare facility can drastically reduce the number of medication errors that occur each year.
This paper will first provide a summary of the medication administration process, and discuss common factors that have been shown to lead to medication errors. Then we’ll take a look at the nurses roll in the medication administ...
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...ecognize where breakdowns that contribute to medication errors are occurring. The frameworks can also help fix these structural problems. By implementing a medications administering system that effectively integrates technology, communication between members of a healthcare team, and patient-centered care, healthcare facility can drastically reduce the number of medication errors that occur each year. The continued improvement of a patient’s health is the most important goal of nurses’ and healthcare providers. By making a medication error a nurse could be directly responsible for negatively effecting a patient’s health, or possibly cause the death. Though mistakes like these do happen nurses and healthcare facilities can protect themselves, and more importantly their patients, from medication errors, by being constantly vigilant and following proven models for care.
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