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September 15, 2023

A medication error, according to the National Coordinating Counsel of Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, consists of a preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in control of the health care professional. Many studies have explored this subject since there is a large number of Americans who would die each year due to prescription errors. A report by the Institute of Medication stated that between 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals because of medication errors which could have been prevented.

Things Causing Medication Errors The work environment leads to medication errors. It could be attributable to interruptions, inadequately staffing, sleep deprivation, language barriers, and lack of data concerning the patient. These can be caused by the following factors:

  • Ordering errors – when the physician orders the wrong drug.
  • Administration errors occur when the drug is given to the wrong patient.
  • Transcription errors occur because incorrect data was entered into the medication administration record.
  • Dispensing errors because many of these errors involve the pharmacies supplying an incorrect medication or dose.

Although the pharmacist is paramount to reduce medication errors. In their conclusion, to reduce medication errors, the process must identify where most errors occur and implement a quality improvement program to reduce the risks of errors. Reporting errors by employees should be emphasized in a good-faith nonpunitive environment which leads to the reduction of pharmacy errors.

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