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Medication Errors and Patient Safety - Essay Example

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Medication error is a very common category of medical errors that occur at three critical points during patient care: when ordered by an authorized medical professional, through administration by a nurse and through pharmacist dispensation. According to Ferner and Aronson (2006), a medication error is perceived to be an event that is likely to result in inappropriate use of medication by a patient while under the coordination of a physician. As Ferner and Aronson understand, medication errors are also likely to be caused by healthcare products, professional practice, and procedures including prescription: product labeling, order communication, nomenclature and packaging, monitoring, administration and dispensing. Basically, various medical errors are perceived to be related to wrong medication administration, the wrong dosage while administering medication, or administration of correct medication during the wrong time. Moreover, wrong medication prescription is attributed to various factors. These are inclusive of duplicate therapy, drug interactions, improper indication, and failure to recognize complications. According to Han (2006), the wrong dosage is attributed to various factors. These factors are; decimal point misplacement, inaccurate calculations, incorrect measure units, doses miscopying, and failure to adjust to the changed psychological status of a patient such as dehydration vital signs and renal function impairment. Prescribing errors involve selection of incorrect drugs

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for a patient. ...
Such errors are inclusive of quantity, dose, indication, or prescription of drugs that are contradicted. Some contributing factors occur as a result of lack of knowledge on the drugs prescribed, the dose recommended and patient details. Other contributing factors include unreadable handwriting, inaccurate medication history, confusing the name of a drug and inappropriately using the decimal points. Other factors are includes utilizing abbreviations and verbal orders (Han, 2006). Dispensing errors Occurrence of dispensing errors is highly likely when a patient is being administered with medicine. As Han (2006) understands, this occurrence may be triggered by the prescription receipt in the pharmacy. The occurrence rate of dispensing errors is perceived to be 24 percent. From a different perspective, Han maintains that this event be triggered by buying the wrong drugs. In most instances, this occurs with drugs containing similar name or with a similar look. Such incidences have resulted in campaigns that have targeted changing some of these drugs. In the United States, there has been a campaign by Food and Drug Administration to have the Losec changed due to close resemblance with Lasix. This campaign has emerged because Loxec has resulted in numerous fatalities due to confusion. Another error in dispensation is perceived to occur when wrong patient, wrong drug or wrong dose and utilization of computerized labeling have resulted in typing or transportation error. Nurse role in prevention of medication error Han (2006) observes that a healthcare provider with the responsibility of administering medication is exposed to the final opportunity of avoiding a medication error. Mostly in the inpatient setting, nurses are entitled with the responsibility of medical error
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Summary

An essay "Medication Errors and Patient Safety" claims that medication errors will seemingly be a cost to the hospital in one way or the other. In this article, a medication error is comprehensively analyzed as a sentinel event that results from medical error…
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