Medication Errors Essay

492 Words2 Pages
Critical Incident Medication Errors Seth Molin December 14, 2013 HMGT 320 University of Maryland University College Professor Ben Smith Medication errors are a dangerous and costly event. It is estimated that 1 million medication errors happen each year. Additionally, it is estimated that these errors result in approximately 7,000 unnecessary deaths (Binder, L., 2013, September 3). Jeannell Mansur from the Joint Commission International illustrated that “every hospital patient may be subjected to as much as one medication error each day.” In addition to the risk to patient safety these errors produce additional medical costs of an estimated 3.5 billion dollars a year. It is vital that steps be taken to mitigate this preventable critical incident. How It Happens Many medication errors are preventable. One of the most common causes of medication errors is illegible handwriting on prescriptions. Illegible handwriting can cause incorrect dosages. Additionally, because many medications have similar names illegible handwriting can cause the wrong medication to be dispensed; this type of error can also occur when prescriptions are given verbally since many medication names sound similar. Medication errors can also occur when the prescribed medication is contraindicated due to a patient’s other health conditions including allergies or other medications the patient is currently taking (Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy). Prevention Preventing medication errors is crucial to patient safety. Computerized physician order entry is a key technology in the prevention of medication errors. Through the use of this technology prescribers enter the prescription into the computerized patient chart. The computer is than able to check the appropriateness of the medication based on patient history, drug reconciliation and dosage. Additionally, this system

More about Medication Errors Essay

Open Document