Medication Errors

Topics: Patient, Iatrogenesis, Health care Pages: 5 (1542 words) Published: March 5, 2013
Medication errors have been a problem in the medical field for many years. Medication errors are one of the most common types of error in the health-care field that affects the lives and safety of the patient (Schoenecker, 2007). The prevention of medication errors is possible, if the nurse uses the medication rights correctly during the administration process. Medication administration is a process that involves the ordering and distribution of medicines to the patient. It also involves the administration of medications ordered by the doctor for the patient.

There are many different healthcare professionals involved in this process; however, the nurse holds the highest responsibility in this process. Nurses play a key role in the prevention of medication errors that occur at different steps of the medication administration process. The studies on this topic were conducted, in order to find the most common reason behind these medication errors. One of the main keys to prevention is following the medication-right guidelines associated with medication administration (Sloan, 2009). Medication Administration Process

Medication administration is a process that requires competency skills on all levels. The administration of medication involves prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines doctors and nurses. There are many different healthcare professionals involved in this process. However, the nurse holds the highest responsibility in this process. The main reason this is true lies in the direct role nurses play in the medication administration process. Nurses are responsible for carrying out doctor’s orders on a routine basis. Nurses play a vital role in the delivery of medication to patients under their care (Wolf, 2007).

The nurse’s role is one that leads to either failure or success in this process. There is a possibility of medication errors at different phases of the administration process. Nurses and other professionals in this process need competency levels at the optimal level. The accuracy of the medication administration process depends highly on the knowledge and competency of the nurse. Effective use of the medication administration guidelines enables health care professionals to have a decrease in medication errors (Wolf, 2007). Causes of Medication Errors

Medication errors are the most common type of error resulting in possible injury to the patient. Many studies have been performed in an attempt to find the most common reasons these occur. There are incidences where time-management plays a part in medication errors. The majority of medication errors result from failures within the medication system. Many guidelines and policies were developed throughout the years to assist in decreasing these occurrences. The most crucial guideline to follow is the Five Rights of medication administrations. The Five Rights is the main ingredient to accurate medication administration in the health field (Sloan, 2009). The five rights were created as a stepladder for nurses to use to help decrease medication errors. The Five Rights of Medication Administration are the right patient, right drug, right dose, right route, and right time. The Five Rights actually have been extended and now includes right to know information about the drug, right to refuse the drug, right documentation (Sloan, 2009). The Rights associated with the medication administration process is crucial to the elimination of medication errors. Every facility has guidelines and policies in place to assist with these incidents. Nurses are responsible for following their facilities guidelines and policies in attempt to prevent harm to patients. Nurses are encouraged to follow accurately the guidelines and policies enforced by their facility. Nurses are protected from legal allegations if guidelines and policies were followed upon an error. There are many different types of medication errors. The main classifications are dispensing...
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