IMPACT OF MEDICATION ERRORS WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON NURSING INVOLVEMENT IN PATIENT SAFETY: STRATEGIES TO PREVENT THEM
Dr. Manjumol Jose,*, Dr. Dona Saju and Sheik Haja Sherief
Background: Medication errors are a common cause of iatrogenic adverse events, leading to morbidity, prolonged hospital stay and mortality. Over 1.3 million people per year are injured by medication errors committed by healthcare professionals. Aim: Our aim is to ascertain the impact of medication errors on patient safety and the quality of clinical care services and to reduce the risk of their occurrence through the application of various preventive strategies. Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted for a period of 3 months in a tertiary care hospital. In the study, about 1061 prescriptions were audited from all the in-patient departments and documented in a prescription auditing form. Results: A total of 345 medication errors were reported, out of which, highest number was constituted by documentation errors (210). About 49 errors reached the patient. A majority of the errors were committed by the nursing staff with less than one year of experience. The adoption of various strategies had reduced the medication errors in ICU from 9% to 2%, but remains the same in wards. Conclusion: All the health care professionals have a responsibility in the identification and reporting of medication errors and to put forward strategies to prevent them. Staff nurses should be highly competent in all aspects of the standards of care for medication management. The proficiency of a nurse in the standard care of medication management determines her ability to handle the factors leading to medication error occurrence.
Keywords: Medication errors, Documentation, Patient safety.
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