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Medication administration safety

According to a one year long study conducted at Albany Medical center, the number was medication errors was 3.99 per 1000 medications (Cardinale, 1997, 1).Most medication errors are said to occur owing to problems of both individuals as well the system (Montesi & Lechi, 2009, p652) and in either case these errors hamper the patients adversely. At the individual level health caregivers are prone to misread drugs labels, medicate the wrong patient, and administer wrong dosage or all of these. For example, bottles of cyclopentolate (1%) and tropicamide (1%) are often mistaken for each other. Both the medicines have a red cap which indicated their common drug class (cyclopegics) but makes them appear exactly identical except for their printed labels. Hospital employees often do not understand the color coding of caps and ignore label reading leading to medication error (Cohen, 2013, p72). Physicians too maybe responsible for some of these problems. Many a time’s handwritten prescriptions bearing illegible drug dosage or names are misread by the pharmacists because of whom a potential medication error occurs. The pen and paper system maybe often interpreted wrongly leading to negative impacts on the patient and improper medical care. Dosage miscalculation is another fatal mistake. Dosage conversion from milligrams to milliliters etc are often calculated wrongly and the patient receives improper dose of medicine. Patients often take wrong medicines by themselves. This is a result of dearth of patient counseling and patient education in terms of self-medication. Medication errors are sometimes a product of system errors. The drug dispensing process right from medicine prescription to drug delivery is often not clearly defines and are not continuous. It is often seen that nurses, pharmacist and other employees engage in non-important talks preventing them from focusing on the job at hand. Hospital environmental too play a minor role in medication errors, for example noise level, distractions, poor lighting etc are often the reasons due to which caregivers make mistakes. The most important factor for system based medication error is lack of knowledge and appropriate exposure. Today, medication administration safety is the top priority of any medical institution. Thus several strategies have been employed to minimize the possibility of medication errors worldwide. Several studies have proved that usage of technological advancements can helps reduce medication errors (Kaushal et al,2001) One of the most widely used technologies today is the Bar coded medication administration. A bar code is attached to each patient’s wrist and the nurse responsible for drug administration scans the wrist of the patient before drug administration to ensure the right medicine, dosage and patient. The system has the potential to point out errors in medication, medication administration route, dosage measurement or patient identity (Koppel et al 2008, p 420) The use of Bar code technology helps nurse practitioners avoid common mistakes and efficiently administer the drug. Personal Digital assistant technology is yet another advancement that can help nurses prevent medication administration errors. The device displays the patient details digitally at one time and increases efficiency of service. CPOE or Computer Physicians Order entry is ...Show more

Summary

TITLE OF THE PAPER Name: Institutions name: Introduction Medication is perhaps the most important support of the healthcare industry however even a minor error in medication administration or similar drug related errors will lead to problematic consequences such as greater expenses, increased hospitalization for patient, enhanced discomfort and even increase in mortality rate…
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