Patient Safety: Medication Errors In Nursing Care

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Patient Safety
The patient safety problem that I have chosen to write about for my assignment is errors in medication management. Mal practise in the management of medication is a commonly known breach of patient safety which can result in serious consequences for the patient. The patient can become harmed in many ways because of medication errors. The US Department of Healthcare Research and Quality states that an ADE, an adverse drug event is defined as ‘harm experienced by a patient as a result of exposure to a medication’. They also state that ADE’s account for 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations each year. According to the US Department of Healthcare Research and Quality, ADE’s affect nearly 5% of hospitalized
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There are three stages involved in medication 1. Prescribing 2. Administering and 3. Monitoring. Mistakes can occur within any of these stages. The clinical pharmacology unit in the University Hospital of Verona Italy have published a journal on medication errors specifically focusing on prescribing faults and prescription errors. In this journal they have stated that “any step in the prescribing process can generate errors which can be fatal and can affect patients safety and quality of healthcare”. Poor handwriting, bad communication between doctors and nurses and poor knowledge of drug and its side effects are all listed in this journal as errors within the prescribing process. The author of the journal suggests that “immediate review of prescriptions should be performed with the assistance of a hospital pharmacist” to prevent errors in the prescription stage and to increase patient safety. Errors within administration are also common. Chloe Copping (RGN) published an article titled ‘Preventing and reporting drug administration errors. In this article she suggests that the most common source of drug administration errors are within calculation and also the 5 R’s, right drug, right route, right time, right dose and right patient. She states that a busy working environment can lead to distraction which then leads to medication errors therefore inhibiting patient safety. To overcome this problem she recommends that “good communication, clarity and vigilance are vital whenever drugs are being administered”. After drugs have been administered patients should be observed to ensure that they are not having undesirable reactions to the medication. Monitoring errors can go wrong due to busy working environments, failure to notice changes in the patients appearance and also failure to notice changes in the patients vital signs. Errors in this stage can be minimalized by reviewing the patients progress on the medication through
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