Flashcards in Prescribing errors Deck (25)
Define a medication error
“any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm”
When are medication errors more likely?
• Orthopaedic surgeons,
• Work in paediatrics
• Work in intensive care units
• With elderly people
What is a prescribing error?
A clinically meaningful prescribing error occurs when, as a result of a prescribing decision or prescription writing process, there is either an unintentional significant:
o Reduction in the probability of treatment being timely and effective
o Increase in the risk of harm when compared with generally accepted practice.
What is a prescribing fault?
Prescribing Faults - failures in the process of deciding which drug to use and how
What is a prescription error?
Prescription Errors - failures in the prescription writing process that result in wrong instructions about one or more of the normal features of a prescription
Which tasks are intrinsically prone to error?
– Tasks that are unfamiliar to the operator or performed under pressure.
– Tasks that require the calculation of a dosage or dilution are especially susceptible to error.
Why do medication errors happen?
• Increase in numbers and variety of drugs
• Patients have co-morbidities
• Complexity of care process
– Care settings
– Care delivery paths/journeys
• Need for high risk medications
• Number of prescribers
• OTC usage
• Loss of the generalist in charge of the patient
Describe some causes of errors in prescription writing
Wrong drug (sound similar)
Inappropriate abbreviation use
What can cause errors in decision making?
Poor understanding of medical history
Poor knowledge of drug properties
Poor knowledge of DDIs
What are the current issues with ageing and pharmacotherapy?
• Under-representation in clinical trials
• Multiple co-morbidities
• Multiple prescribers
• Polypharmacy: Drug Interactions
• Prescribing cascade
• Altered pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
• Adverse drug reactions
How can you minimise the risk of improper decision making?
• Before prescribing, consider:
– The patient’s medication history
– Other factors that might alter the benefits and risks of treatment
• Select effective, safe, and cost-effective medicines individualised for the patient
• Adhere to national guidelines and local formularies
• Monitor the beneficial and adverse effects of medicines
• Communicate and document prescribing decisions
• Prescribe within the limitations of your knowledge, skills and experience
What are the consequences of prescription errors?
• Patient & family grief
• Colleagues: Staff/ multidisciplinary team
• Professional consequences
• Legal consequences
What are the 5 Rs?
• The 5 Rs
– Right patient
– Right drug
– Right route
– Right time
– Right dose
• 6th R: Formulation?
– Sustained Release Preparations
– Drugs that must be prescribed by brand
– Changing between formulations
How can we enhance safe prescribing?
• Use of patient passports
• Medicines reconciliation
• Use of technology
• Use of simulation for rehearsal
– Drug history: allergies
• Development of standards of practice
– Five “rights” - Right patient, drug, dose, route and time
• Reporting system
• Communication techniques
• Design of safe delivery systems
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