Medication Errors


I believe that the electronic systems of medication ordering and administration are going to be best thing for the prevention of medication errors.

At the facility where I am working, we have not yet moved to the electronic systems of ordering medications, but we are using a computer system for obtaining medications, ones that are both scheduled and new orders. There are several problems with this system though. One is there are still orders that are written by hand, but the medication orders are only entered into the computer system by the Pharmacist D. This has aided in finding medication errors that are written or drug-drug interactions. Even though the Pharmacist D enters the orders, they still have to decipher the handwriting, which always seems to be problematic. Another problem with this current system is that there are Pharmacy Technicians who fill the computer machine dispenser. There were times when the wrong medication or the wrong dose was in the wrong drawer and expired medications were in the drawer. One last problem that can occur is that the nurse may take the medication out of the wrong drawer.

Although electronic systems are one of the best ways to decrease medication errors, anytime that you have a human that is involved, there will always be a risk for error.

This would relate to patient education by when the nurse is administering medications and is teaching about them, he/she can show what the pills look like so that the patient is able to differentiate them from their other medications.


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