Essay On Medication Errors

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Medication errors are amongst the most common healthcare mistakes and are a frequent source of unfortunate healthcare events in the quality of care. Medication errors lengthen the stay in hospitals, escalate inpatient expenditures, and in the United States cause more than 7,000 deaths yearly. One-third of all medical errors which occur in a hospital are from medication errors. Not all medication errors lead to morbidity or mortality; nonetheless, a relatively elevated prevalence makes the dilemma worth addressing. Each error can cost an estimated $2,000 to $8,750 (Anderson & Townsend, 2015). There are two methods to consider, errors and accidents. First is to recognize the problems and flaws that lead to the mistakes and secondly to…show more content…
Medication error rates, in a hospital, can be as high as 1.9 per patient per day. There are many causes and sources of errors which include "illegibly written orders, dispensing errors, calculation and monitoring errors and administration errors" (Mayo & Duncan, 2004, para. 3). Administration errors can be medications given to the wrong patient (Mayo & Duncan, 2004). Other error prone areas are patient with drug allergies, the charting in medication administration record, and high-risk medication or high alert medications (HAMs). There are other sources where errors can occur such as intravenous devices and infusions, and look-alike sound-alike (LASA) drugs. Two more error prone areas are drug storage and replenishment plus prescription practice under computerized medication order entry (MOE) (Lee, Lee, Yeung, & Chan, 2013). The occurrence of medication errors can involve unit clerks, pharmacists, nurses, and doctors. "A patient can receive up to 18 doses of medication per day, and a nurse can administer as many as 50 medications per shift" (Mayo & Duncan, 2004, para. 3). Nurses are on the frontline when it comes to drug administration accountability (Mayo & Duncan,
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