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Medication Error Essay

2086 words - 9 pages

Medication Safety
Patient safety is the first priority concern for leadership in all health care organizations. The medication delivery process is the most common intervention in health care system. For that reason medication safety is considered the most challenging and complex process in improving patient care and safety during hospitalization. Medication-related errors are serious and occur at a rate of about one per patient per day (Allan, 1990). It is a harmful practice affecting patient’s health and life. Some of these errors may result in death or inefficiency of organs functions. In addition, medication errors may financially affect the health care organization due to long patient ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, it is very painful when a patient gets harm and pain unsuspected during hospitalization.
The medication administration process is passing through different stages (Kiekkas, Karga, Lemonidou, Aretha & Karanikolas, 2011). It is very important to maintain medication safety practice. That is why it considered as a complex process due to involvement of different health care providers in administering one single dose to an individual patient. It begins from prescribing medicine by the physician and transcribing the order by the nurse, transfers the prescription by a health care assistant. It continues by dispensing the medicine by the pharmacist, delivering the medication back to the concerned unite through another health care assistant and storage of the medicine in its proper place. Finally, it ends by giving the medication directly to the patient by the nurse or indirectly by the caring family. Any unsafe practice in any stage of this process will lead to medication error.
Many factors could lead to medication error and unsafe practice. Poor communication between health care providers, even between providers and their patients are the major factors that may affect the process and lead to harm to the patient (Presto, 2004). According to the Joint Commission International site there are other factors that can lead to medication errors. The first factor is medications that have names which sound-alike or look-alike. This means that the medication with similar drug names or similar accents may be easily confused by nurses, pharmacists and others on the front lines (Mansur, 2013). The second factor is an illegible prescription which occurs because of illegible hand writing, abbreviations used or incomplete physician orders (Medication Safety, 2013). The third cause of error is similar packaging or labeling, which can be confusing for staff and can lead to an error in the medication administration process (Fry, 2007). The fourth factor which could lead to medication error is a lack of information on a particular drug or outdated warnings that can also impede safe medication use. In addition, literature revealed that one of the significant factors that may lead to medication errors is lack of competence in practice mathematical skills in drug calculation among health care providers, whether over dosing or under dosing (Preston, 2004. The sixth factor is lack of knowledge and awareness of medicine, including but not limited to, rout of administration, precautions, interaction, side effects and preparation (Preston, 2004). As a final factor, which it may affect children more than adult, is taking patient weight incorrectly which causes wrong dose calculation care (Kiekkas, Karga, Lemonidou, Aretha & Karanikolas, 2011).
Indeed, medication errors can be detected by different methods. It may be through review of prescriptions and medication sheets to check physician’s order and nurses transcribing of medication orders (Bates, Boyle,...

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