Medication errors Introduction
Here comes my blog about the introduction of medication error.
Medication error has become a serious problem because the patients started practicing self medication and taking the medicines has been increased. (1)
Lets go through what in is.
United States National Coordination Council for Medication error Reporting and Prevention says that medication error is a preventable and this event includes the improper selection of the medication and this may damage the health of the patient. And the medication is under the regulation of either the doctor or the pharmacist or the patient. (1)
Reports that made the world to take medication errors seriously (1)
Lazarou along with his co-workers made a study in which he concluded that the adverse drug reactions that were life threatening in the patients who were hospitalized is very huge. And the report given by the Institute of Medicine said that there are around 40000 to 98000 of deaths are occurring in the United States every year because of the medication error. Even this is standing at 8th position in the reasons that causing death. These two reports opened the eyes all over the world about medication errors.
IOM submitted a report by name 'Crossing the quality Chasm: A new Health System for the 21st century' in which they blamed the whole system.
Prescribing errors, dispensing errors and medical errors are included in the medication errors and let us go through in detail now. (2)
Prescribing errors: When the prescriber choose the improper medicine for the patient this may occur.
This may occur because of the hand writing or may be because of the use of abbreviations or because the prescriber fails to ask about the past medication etc. Because of the increase in the work pressure and less skills in prescribing creates this problem.
Avoiding: By the use of the computer slips and by the use of Computerized physician order entry system we can eliminate this.
In UK there held a study in which 36,200 prescriptions were studied. In which the prescription errors ranges from 1 to 5%. Out of this 1 to 5% 25% seemed to be dangerous.
Dispensing errors: This condition will come whenever there is a resemblance between the two drug names.
Avoiding: Keeping the drugs far from each which are having names which resemble with each other, by not increasing the work load on the pharmacist etc these can be avoided.
Administration errors: If the drug that the patient got is different from the drug prescribed by the physician there comes the administration errors. It includes even taking of the expired drugs.
When the IV is the route of the administration the professionals should be more careful as the administration causes severe consequences.
Avoiding: We can avoid this by verifying the patient details and make sure that the patient and prescription and drugs are present at one place. Before administering the drug, other health care professional should check dose in order to avoid mistakes.
USP gave some suggestions to the patients too to avoid medication error.
The patient should make sure himself that he is able to understand the prescription.
The patient should ask the physician how the drug will act, will there be any side effects to that particular drug, how long it will take to come out of the disease, immediate duty he has to do if he find that there is no action of the drug and the various tests he has to undergo during the medication.
Even the person has to have an interaction with the pharmacist and ask what for the drug is, ala various details of the drug like the time at which he has to take the drug etc etc. He has to go through the expiration date of the drugs. (3)
Conclusion: Here I want to conclude that it's the responsibility of the every member in the health care system to avoid medication errors. Especially the pharmacists who are well equipped with the knowledge of calculations, pharmacology, toxicology and pharmacokinetics should play an important role in the removal of the medication errors.
1) Medication error management around the globe by Isha Patel and R. Balkrishnan, Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences sepetember-october 2010; 72(5) scientific publication of Indian Pharmaceutical association, page 539 to 540.
2) http://www.rcpe.ac.uk/journal/issue/journal_37_4/Williams.pdf (accessed on 27th July 2011 at 22:30 hrs)
3) http://medind.nic.in/haa/t06/i1/haat07i1p60.pdf(accessed on 27th July 2011 at 22:30 hrs)
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