Medication Errors

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 517
  • Published : October 2, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Running head: Medication Errors

January 2012  
When patients enter a hospital or doctor’s office they do so with the expectation that their safety is of great importance. In addition, when medication is prescribed and given to patients, the safety of the patient is at the hands of the doctor. The patient is under the impression that the medication is being given correctly and will not harm them. Unfortunately, medication errors do occur and when they do, the patient can experience potential harmful events. Kopp, Erstad, Allen, Theodora and Priestley (2006) conducted a study to determine how often medication errors occurred as well as how to prevent them. The setting of the study was a tertiary care academic medical center in Arizona. The participants were patients in an intensive care unit. Thirty-eight of the patients were men and nineteen were women. The average age of the patients was fifty-three years. The design used for the study was direct observation. According to authors, because of this type of data collection there are limitations to this type of research design. When direct observation occurs the observer can have a negative effect on the observed, there may be interference of the activity being conducted by those being observed and the observer may struggle with what they are observing. These limitations can limit the validity and reliability of the observation. According to the VA Center for Medication Safety, an adverse drug event is “an injury resulting from the use of a drug.” (VA website) Most commonly these events are occurring due to human error. During observation the observers determined the number of medication errors as well as the occurrence of adverse drug events due to the medication errors. The researchers observed nurses for thirty-three twelve-hour shifts. During these observations doses of medication were given to patients 645 times. Of the 645 times, there were 185 times were a medication error was made, with a varying...
tracking img