Dealing with medical errors
The problem of medical errors, and in particular medication errors, has prompted a strong response by the health care industry, purchasers, and by state and federal governments. Medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, with the number of deaths exceeding those associated with motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. Medication errors represent the largest single cause of errors in the hospital setting, accounting for more than 7,000 deaths annually — more than the number of deaths resulting from workplace injuries.
Some information technologies have been shown to be effective in reducing medical errors, particularly in hospital settings.. Around two percent of patients undergoing medical treatment suffer from medical errors.
Medical errors can be avoided by using a pre-prepared kit which consists of two parts: “A Framework for Developing a Plan” and “Ten Tools.” Both are available under Document Downloads and can be downloaded in PDF format.. These Microsoft Word files may be saved locally on your computer and completed interactively. Some methods of reducing medication errors are production changes, implementing bar coding, using more efficient distribution systems, training personnel or employing experienced and trained health care givers, creating standardized and easy to understand prescription formats, developing procedures for recording and developing proper facilities and for the control of medication and establish measureable standards, monitor all activities and make necessary.
Next the procedure should be as simple as possible by creating a reporting and assessment form. Educate all concerned on the importance of reporting all medication errors, regardless of their alleged implication, put in place systems that would identify medication errors in the hospital/clinic or pharmacy by surveying medication storage, by arbitrary sampling, and involving practitioners and healthcare givers in the medication error detection and reporting process. Also not emphasize on the disciplinary actions to encourage reporting of medication errors to improve the system.
And respect the confidentiality of the patient, facility and personnel involved in the medication error, and last but not least examine and assess cause of the medication error, and analyze data to determine trends, frequency, significance and results of medication errors. Create a central system of reporting for analysis and promote reporting of educational errors and develop recommendations to reduce and prevent medication and provide standardized data. More deaths are caused by medical errors than by car accidents in most countries. This has elicited strong responses from everyone concerned with different aspects of medication including the federal government, the healthcare industry and purchasers and consumers.