If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not familiar with a specific drug’s administration route, ask your colleagues for help. As experienced as you may be, it’s important to take the time to double- and even triple-check your work, particularly if you’re working with EHRs. Her colleague also failed to properly match the drug with the patient’s medication administration record (MAR). Doctors are seeing more patients every hour of every day, and all healthcare staff, including doctors, nurses, and administrators, must adapt to the demands of new technology in healthcare, such as electronic health records (EHR) systems and Computerized Provider (Physician) Order Entry (CPOE) systems. Deaths resulting from medical errors are tragic not only for patients and their families, but for the healthcare professionals who are responsible, as an article painfully highlighted about one nurse’s tragic mistake a few years ago. Healthcare workers face more challenges today than ever before. Medication errors remain one of the most common causes of unintended harm to patients. A nurse in Seattle performed dosage calculations in her head and accidentally administered a dose to an infant patient that was 10 times higher than the prescribed amount. Administration of medicines is a key element of nursing care. Seventy percent of individuals in the U.S. take at least one medication per day, and more than half of all Americans take two.3 Every day at least one death in the U.S. happens a result of a medication error, and approximately1.3 million people annually are injured due to medication errors. A tragic case involving the death of three infant patients after receiving massive heparin overdoses happened as a result of misleading packaging. Vecuronium injected instead of Versed. For example, working overtime with inadequate resources, poor support, and low job security all contributed to an increased risk of medication errors by nurses. The focus of this article is on medication errors in nursing. that have analyzed wrong-patient medication errors in particular. The prevention of medication errors, which can happen at every stage of the medication … Medication errors can occur anywhere along the route, from the clinician who prescribes the medication to the healthcare professional who administers the medication. Using PICO to Formulate Clinical Questions . During the nine-day window, the resident developed clots in their brain that eventually caused a large—and fatal—ischemic stroke. In many cases, these errors can lead to medical malpractice claims made against individual practitioners or even against whole care teams. Medication errors occur in the profession of nursing, and there is no way around it. Want Berxi articles delivered straight to your inbox? The “SBAR” method can help alleviate miscommunications. The total cost of these errors, including lost income and productivity, disability, and the expense of additional care, is estimated at between $17 billion and $29 billion per year. If you see that look-alike or sound-alike medications are stored next to each other, ask your supervisor to correct the problem, emphasizing the increased risk of medication errors. Ask for mandatory training sessions about medications that are introduced to your facility. Additionally, the entire care team failed to catch the errors for nine days. By automating medication administration in your care home, you can reduce the risk of medication errors. Nursing Medication Errors: 5 Stories That Will Make Nurses Double-Check Their Dosages Common medication errors yield dangerous consequences in these true stories. Dual scales contribute to a fatal error In an error resulting in a patient's death, a nurse confused two dosing scales on a plastic oral liquid dosing cup and incorrectly measured a dose of morphine sulfate oral solution 20 mg/mL for an opioid-naive hospice patient. These are just some of the many possible medication errors that can occur. The nurse was instructed by a doctor to administer 140 milligrams of calcium chloride to her 8-month-old patient. The patient, who also was a physician, went to the ER with signs of anaphylaxis. Click here to read our full disclaimer, Have a quote already?View your saved quote. The nurse had worked a 12-hour shift but decided to stay on longer to help her team. JOANNE JOHNSTON. Moon, A. 19(625). MEDICATION ERRORS IN NURSING: COMMON TYPES, CAUSES, AND PREVENTION, Compliance Education for Healthcare Sales Professionals, Mandatory and State-Specific Continuing Education, nurse CE programs that include healthcare videos, http://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/1999/To-Err-is-Human/To%20Err%20is%20Human%201999%20%20report%20brief.pdf, http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nearly-7-in-10-americans-take-prescription-drugs-mayo-clinic-olmsted-medical-center-find/, http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/MedicationErrors/ucm080629.htm, http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/Root_Causes_Event_Type_2004-3Q_2015.pdf, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3462065/. This 2016 case report details a 50-year-old women who was accidentally administered epinephrine instead of midazolam during colonoscopy prep. According to a new study conducted at Johns Hopkins University, medical errors have become the third leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 250,000 lives annually.1For nurses, making a medication error is an emotionally traumatic ex… Berxi™ is a part of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. All policies are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty High-alert medicines such as heparin can have devastating consequences if not administered properly. The following are common examples of prescription errors in nursing homes: Providing medication without adequate fluids; 6 Missed Nursing Care Elements of Nursing Care % missed Ambulation three times per day or as order 76% Interdisciplinary rounds 66% Mouth care 64% Medications administered on time 60% Feeding patient when the food is still warm 57% Patient teaching 55% Response to call light within 5 minutes 50% Patient bathing/skin … This medication error, occurring in December 2017, has resulted in a reckless homicide charge against a Tennessee nurse, who recently pled not guilty to the charge. They contribute to adverse events that compromise patient safety and result in a large financial burden to the health service. Find a system of checks and balances that works for you, and try to go through it every time you need to prescribe or administer medication to a patient. To alleviate the symptoms of a patient’s allergic reaction, a nurse administered a dose of epinephrine directly into her bloodstream instead of into her thigh. … Image courtesy of Unsplash.com/Thought Catalog, The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Berxi™ or Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. Wrong-patient medication errors can be thought of as both an unordered-drug error One doctor may not have access to the same patient information as another-one of the primary causes of medication errors. These include failure to: collaborate with other healthcare team members; clarify interdisciplinary orders; ask for and offer assistance; utilize evidence-based performance guidelines or bundles 5 True Stories of Nursing Medication Errors. As many as 400,000 Americans succumb to medical errors annually. Exploring medication errors and doctors’ and nurses’ perceptions of them in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) By. 1.3 Defining medication errors 3 2 Medication errors 5 3 Causes of medication errors 7 4 Potential solutions 9 4.1 Reviews and reconciliation 9 4.2 Automated information systems 10 4.3 Education 10 4.4 Multicomponent interventions 10 5 Key issues 12 5.1 Injection use 12 5.2 Paediatrics 12 5.3 Care homes 13 6 Practical next … They could all follow, if imitatively, the examples in the textbook, and could therefore do all the practice problems, but when the test presented problems in an unexpected format, most failed--only 2 students passed the test. Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. But medication errors do happen. Medication errors can have serious and costly consequences, such as increased patient lengths of stay, additional medical interventions, serious harm, or even death. Medication Errors. Such drugs are usually taken without doctor’s prescriptions thus are prone to wrong dosage or use. We’ll examine different types of medication errors, how they occur, and prevention measures for reducing these errors. She continued to suffer from chest pain, palpitations, and exhaustion, and she eventually contacted the hospital to launch a formal investigation into the error. Nurses may not have the authority to make infrastructural changes, but they do have the power to suggest needed changes and take precautions to prevent medication errors, including the following: This includes the patient’s name, age, date of birth, weight, vital signs, allergies, diagnosis, and current lab results. There are many types of medical errors, and they can occur anywhere in the healthcare system-from hospitals, to nursing homes, to pharmacies. However, they were able to administer the second dose within the window and the patient was fine. 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