A Literature Review About Mecication Errors and the 6 Rights to Medication Administration.

Topics: Iatrogenesis, Health care, Pharmacology Pages: 8 (1938 words) Published: September 8, 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction...............................................................................................3

Summaries of Journal Articles......................................................................3

Key Aspects: Medication Errors and their Causes.............................................. 4

Impact on Client Care.................................................................................5

Strategies to prevent Medication Errors ..........................................................6

Conclusion.............................................................................................9

References...........................................................................................11

(Peer Reviewed Articles are Attached)

Introduction

An error rate of 5% is acceptable in most industries, however, in the health care industry; one single error can result in death. (Berntsen, 2004, p5) This paper discusses medication errors in relation to pharmacology and drug treatment. It will summarize three academic peer reviewed journal articles, followed by general information in relation to medication errors, the impact of medication errors on client care, strategies to prevent medication errors and conclude with the relationship to nursing.

Summary of Articles Related to Medication Errors.

The first article is by Karin Berntsen, 2004, and is entitled "How Far Has Health Care Come Since 'To Err is Human'? Exploring Use of Medical Error Data". This is a review of what changes have been made since a medication error report written by the Institute of Medicine was published in 1999. This article depicts how the health care system has changed since this 1999 report was written, and how the information was utilized for our benefit. They concluded that in the USA, medical errors were one of the top 8 leading causes of death. They reported the cost for these errors was between $17 Billion to $29 billion dollars. Until a new report is completed, health care providers will be unaware whether their goals in increasing patient safety were accomplished. The article finalizes that there has been progress in regards to prevention of medication errors and health care leaders feel passionate about increasing patient safety. (Berntsen 2004)

The second article is by William N. Kelly, 2004, and is titled "Medication Errors: Lessons Learned and Actions Needed" and highlights the death of a one year old child who was diagnosed with cancer. She subsequently died, not from the cancer, but from receiving an incorrect dosage of a drug that she was being treated with. This report indicates that medications are systematically checked and balanced and errors are usually caught before a drug is administered to a patient. The article states that problems are not being solved in a timely manner since the industry has been "putting 'band aids' on problems that need 'major surgery'.(Kelly 2004). In conclusion, the article questions whether or not they are taking the right approach in preventing errors. Many people are trying to fix this problem however; errors are still made too frequently. (Kelly 2004)

The final article is by Rosemary M. Preston, 2004, and is titled "Drug Errors and Patient Safety: A Need for Change in Practice". This article presents that errors continue to happen for many reasons. It concentrates upon calculations errors, lack of knowledge of drugs, over/under dosing drugs, interactions with drugs and food, and legalities regarding drug administration. It also presents recommendations to minimize the risk of drug errors with good communication and honesty. The article closes by stating that "nurses should never estimate the skills needed for safe administration of medicines." (Preston 2004)

Key aspects: medication errors and their causes.

To understand the impact that medication errors have on a patient, we have to understand what a medication error is....

References: Clayton, Bruce D., BS, RPh, PharmD, and Yvonne N. Stock, MS, BSN, RN. Basic Pharmacology for Nurses. 13th ed. United States of America: Mosby, 2004.
Government of Canada Online. (2004, Summer). Retrieved July 18, 2004, from Health
Canada Web site: (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/index.html)
Government of Canada Online. (2004, Summer). Retrieved July 18, 2004, from Health
Canada Web site: (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/index.html)
Kozier & Erb, Barbara, et al. Fundamentals of Nursing. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
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