A discussion on types of medication errors in health care

Evaluation of systems and processes to avoid medication errors Errors or failings can arise at any one of these points and pharmacists are best equipped to address problems, the guidelines say. Recommendations to avoid ADEs at the time of a patient admission include obtaining a medication history with pharmacy participation and conducting medication reconciliation.

A discussion on types of medication errors in health care

Page 63 several people and may influence the ability to discover and recover from errors.

A discussion on types of medication errors in health care

It can also include people at home of different ages, visual abilities, languages, and so forth, who must use different kinds of medical equipment and devices. As more care shifts to ambulatory and home settings, the use of medical technology by non-health professionals can be expected to take on increasing importance.

Research on Human Factors Research in the area of human factors is just beginning to be applied to health care. It borrows from the disciplines of industrial engineering and psychology. Human factors is defined as the study of the interrelationships between humans, the tools they use, and the environment in which they live and work.

This approach examines the process of error, looking at the causes, circumstances, conditions, associated procedures and devices and other factors connected with the event. Studying human performance can result in the creation of safer systems and the reduction of conditions that lead to errors.

However, not all errors are related to human factors. Although equipment and materials should take into account the design of the way people use them, human factors may not resolve instances of equipment breakdown or material failure.

Much of the work in human factors is on improving the human-system interface by designing better systems and processes. Two approaches have typically been used in human factors analysis.

The first is critical incident analysis. Critical incident analysis examines a significant or pivotal occurrence to understand where the system broke down, Page 64 Share Cite Suggested Citation: To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.


The National Academies Press. In the case study, researchers with expertise in human factors could have helped the team investigate the problem.

They could examine how the device performed under different circumstances e. They could observe how the staff used the particular infusion device during surgery and how they interacted with the use of multiple infusion devices.

A critical incident analysis in anesthesia found that human error was involved in 82 percent of preventable incidents. The study identified the most frequent categories of error and the riskiest steps in the process of administering anesthesia.

Recommended corrective actions included such things as labeling and packaging strategies to highlight differences among anesthesiologists in the way they prepared their workspace, training issues for residents, work-rest cycles, how relief and replacement processes could be improved, and equipment improvements e.Your health care providers can follow a process called medication reconciliation to significantly decrease your risk of medication errors.

Medication reconciliation is a safety strategy that involves comparing the list of medications your health care provider currently has with the list of medications you are currently taking.

LVNs Engaging in Intravenous Therapy, Venipuncture, or PICC Lines: The basic educational curriculum for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) does not mandate teaching of principles and techniques for insertion of peripheral intravenous (IV) catheters, or the administration of fluids and medications via the IV route.


Medication errors are among the most common health threatening mistakes that affect patient care. Such mistakes are considered as a global problem which increases mortality rates, length of .

Every facility should have a culture of safety that encourages discussion of medication errors and near-misses (errors that don’t reach a patient) in a nonpunitive fashion.

Health Network Strives for Excellence in Women’s Health Care. 19 thoughts on “Medication errors: Best Practices”. The widespread use of electronic health records has helped avert errors at the ordering and transcribing stages, but these errors still persist, and studies have found a high rate of medication administration errors in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Each year, somewhere between , and 1,, people in the United States fall in the hospital. A fall may result in fractures, lacerations, or internal bleeding, leading to increased health care utilization. Research shows that close to one-third of falls can be prevented.

A discussion on types of medication errors in health care

Fall prevention involves managing a patient's underlying fall risk factors and optimizing the hospital's physical.

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