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Flashcards in Safe Prescribing Deck (12)
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What is medication error?

Medication error = preventable event that may lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm


What can medication error events be related to?

  • Professional practice
  • Health care products
  • Procedures and systems
  • Labelling
  • Dispensing
  • Distribution
  • Administration
  • Education
  • Monitoring


What are examples of medication errors?

  • Giving patient wrong drug
  • Giving wrong dose


How can the liklihood of medication errors be reduced (individual and system causes)?

  • Individual
    • Knowledge of remedies
    • Skill to intercept harm
    • Clinical skill
    • Sound judgement
    • Error awareness
    • Calling for help
  • System
    • Safety triggers to alert staff
    • Culture of speaking up
    • Make remedies available
    • Support clinician needs
    • Foster culture of safety


What things increase the risk of medication errors?

  • Rapid throughout of patient
  • New drug developments, extending medicines into new areas
  • Increasing complexity of medical care
  • Increased specialisation
  • Increased use of medicines generally
  • People causes
    • Fatigue, hunger, concentration, stress, distraction, lack of training, lack of access to information


What are some people causes of medication errors?

  • Fatigue, hunger, concentration, stress, distraction, lack of training, lack of access to information


What are the 5Rs that should be remembered when administering medication?

  • Right patient
  • Right drug
  • Right dose
  • Right route
  • Right time


What are different types of errors?

  • Surgery (most common)
  • Drug treatment
  • Therapeutic mishaps
  • Diagnostic errors


What patients are most at risk of errors?

  • Undergoing cardiothoracic, vascular or neurosurgery
  • Complex conditions
  • Emergency room
  • Looked after by inexperienced doctors
  • Older patients


What are examples of common prescibing errors?

  • Wrong drug
  • Wrong dose
  • Inappropriate units
  • Illegible prescription
  • Failure to take into account drug interactions
  • Wrong route
  • Calculation errors


What can be done to reduce the risk of prescribing errors?

  • Write legibly
  • Avoid abbreviations
  • Avoid decimal points
  • Always check patient information


What are examples of drug formularies where information can be found?

  • National formularies (such as BNF)
  • Grampian joint formulary
  • WHO