Analysis of New Article in Current Technology to prevent Medication Errors
In America, medication errors are common and are often associated with significant financial and clinical consequences. Worldwide, the prevention of drugs blunders has become highly prioritized. Therefore, the introduction of new healthcare technologies into the system of healthcare can improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of medical care. Besides, medication errors are known to take place at any point in the medication use process. Therefore, being dedicated to technology innovation as well as patient safety has played a crucial role in preventing medication errors. Consequently, this paper will analyze the current technology put to use to prevent medication errors.
The medication process is usually a multifaceted operation that involves numerous steps with many people. Each of the steps has an estimated error rate until it reaches the last step of medication administration. But most mistakes take place at the level of prescribing medication. Such inaccuracies include the usage of wrong dosage forms, wrong drugs, lack of allergy confirmations, and incorrect dose calculations (Agrawal, 2009). Therefore, the introduction of the computerized physician order entry system has the potential to improve patient safety since it ensures the medication orders are complete and legible and also contain all the necessary information. For instance, the CPOE ensures the medication orders have the right dosage, include drug interactions and allergies, provide the right dosage adjustment calculations regarding the renal function or weight, among other potentially powerful interventions.
Bar-Coded Medication Administration
The bar-coded medication administration system has significantly reduced the medication error since the medications are bar-coded and checked in the pharmacy before sending them to the patient care units. Also, the system requires nurses to scan patient identification bracelet as well as the administered medication (Agrawal, 2009). This process is mainly to alert the nurse in cases of errors hence a mismatch of the patient identity with the dose to be administered. The system ensures the nurses follow all the rights of medication administration. They include the right drug, the right dose, the right route, the right time, and the right patient. According to Agrawal (2009), the bar-coded medication administration systems reduce approximately 87% of errors during drugs administrations.
Smart Pumps in Reducing Medication Errors
Smart pumps are incorporated software programs used to reduce medication errors. They are also known as DERS (Dose Error Reduction Systems). They contain drug libraries, and that indicate drug type, dosing limits, and strengths. They can also be used for intermittent infusions, continuous infusions, and boluses (Ohashi, Dalleur, Dykes & Bates, 2014). The smart pump technology acts as alert indicators as well as clinical advisories. Therefore, it reduces dose oversight and miscalculations related errors during medication by ensuring correct medication administration and informing clinicians in case of a mistake and allowing them to fix them.
Medication errors affect millions of patients in America hence preventing them should be prioritized. Information technology systems make up the most vital strategies that help to avoid medication errors and ultimately enhance patient safety. Smart pumps also assist in preventing medication errors, but they are more effective if used with other clinical systems like a drug library. All in all, the information technology systems indeed help in reducing medication errors and ultimately improve health care.
Agrawal, A. (2009). Medication errors: prevention using information technology systems. British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology, 67(6), 681-686. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2009.03427.x
Ohashi, K., Dalleur, O., Dykes, P., & Bates, D. (2014). Benefits and Risks of Using Smart Pumps to Reduce Medication Error Rates: A Systematic Review. Drug Safety, 37(12), 1011-1020. doi:10.1007/s40264-014-0232-1