Methods for detecting medication errors

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Methods for detecting medication errors

Category: Annotated Bibliography

Subcategory: Nursing

Level: College

Pages: 2

Words: 550

This research assignment seeks to define the topic, medication errors. In addition, the paper identifies and justifies the various methods that are common in detecting medication errors. The paper involves references drawn from relevant works and researches from authors of this topic.
Medication error refers to the discrepancy that arises from a prescriber’s interpretation of medication order and the administered drug to the patient. Such errors arising include omission of a drug, unauthorized medication, wrong drug, and wrong technique of administration, wrong time, or wrong dosages CITATION Fly l 1033 (Flynn EA; Barker KN; Pepper GA; Bates DW& Mikeal RL). Medical errors can occur to either inpatient medication or outpatient medication.
Once such medication errors occur, there are always adverse consequences that occur in recipient patients and may trigger them to undertake legal proceeding citing negligence on the part of the medical practitioner. Such long-term implications of medication errors include prolonged hospitalization, increased discomfort from wrong drugs or dosage or increased mortalityCITATION Ger l 1033 (Montesi). However, the medics may try to justify the fact that an error did not occur therefore requiring subsequent audits to determine the extent of error and their prevalence.
Methods of Detecting Medication Errors
An estimated three-quarter of patients hospitalized die or face injury each year owing to reasons of adverse drug events (ADEs). Notably, the majority of these events arise because of poor systems of healthcare in hospitals rather than the negligence of the medical staff CITATION Jam04 l 1033 (James G Anderson). In his report, James G Anderson highlights that detection of the real rate of errors of medication and ADEs is difficult because most errors got unreported. For the past few decades, the methods of data collection for types and frequency of errors grossly underestimates the statistics. CITATION Coh07 l 1033 (Cohen), in his book, Medication Errors highlights the following methods of detecting medication errors. However, it is important to note that the particular method used differs, in particular, research detail, routine efforts for error detection and some resources. A medical facility should put efforts that will facilitate detection of medication error and reduce risks.
Anonymous self-reporting
This method heavily emphasizes on the use of questionnaires in which the responding medical practitioner confesses and commits to being a witness to such medication errors. This method boasts of being cheap and guarantees the respondent of avoiding disciplinary action. However, the respondent may only report if he has the will to do so.
Incident reports
An incident report is one written and recognized in standard form to provide details of any incidents of medical errors. These reports are a basic requirement for hospitals and, therefore, their submission is not anonymous.
Critical Incident Technique
This method is a sampling technique that seeks to identify from a pool of medical errors the most common types and factors for their occurrence. The method involves interviews or observations of those individuals who have committed errors.
Chart Review
The chart review method is a method that is cheap and provides a fair method of examining a dosage for error however; the accuracy rate makes the method unpopular in evaluating the frequency of error occurrence. In contrast, the chart review method offers ideal results and more precision in detecting occurrences of Adverse Events as compared to medication errors CITATION Ins13 l 1033 (The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies).
For this method, a qualified observer accompanies a medical practitioner while he/she is providing medication or prescription. The observer makes records of what the practitioner does and makes an analysis of the findings.
Computer aided monitoring
This method is not only for error detection but extends to monitoring the patient after medication. The method is a procedure characterized by detection, monitoring, rectification and filling of subsequent report of the same. This method utilizes information technology, which would be expensive to install, and administer but can be useful in detecting new risks CITATION Ger l 1033 (Montesi).
Claims data
This method looks at the rate of claims by aggrieved patients who resolve to litigations.
BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 Cohen, Michael Richard. Medication Errors. 2. Washington DC, 2007. Print. 7 December 2015.
This book offers the reader an insight of the medication errors that most medical professionals do and the various methods that the organization may institute to detect the nature and magnitude of the error. Moreover, this book, Medication Errors, presents the reader with a comprehensive book on the evaluation of causes of medication errors and measures for preventing them.
The book helps readers to comprehend the reasons behind medication errors as a direct result of the system for instance, drug trademarks, drug packaging and medication labeling, erroneous labeling, and dosage expressions. More so, it discusses the patient’s duty of preventing medication errors. Also, the book examines techniques medication errors prevention as relates to specific medical procedure, the type of patients, and prevalent conditions. Cohen also offers methods of reducing the risk of errors and cultivating a culture of safety that is attainable through regular error reporting systems as well as disclosing of medication errors to patients. He also addresses the need for practicing basic ethical concerns in the administration and prescription of medication.
Flynn EA; Barker KN; Pepper GA; Bates DW& Mikeal RL. Comparison of the Methods of Detecting Medication Errors in 36 Hospitals and Skilled-nursing Facilities. Research. HSP, Auburn University (AU), Auburn, USA, n.d.In their research, the authors expressed the concern over three methods of detecting errors of medication namely; incidents report review, charts review, and observing of medication procedures. Also, they focused on the validity and cost effectiveness. In their research, the focus was to study the error prevalence in the medical administration of among registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.
The research compared each administered dose with the order of prescription and any deviations in this preset order was evidence of the medical efficiency of the medications. The effectiveness the process of medication was as a measure of the time spent on the evaluation of each prescribed dosage.
The research enlightens the reader on the main techniques of collecting data for identification of medication errors.

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. “Detecting Medication Errors.” Quality Chasm Series 2013. Print
James G Anderson. Information Technology for Detecting Medication Errors and Adverse Drug Events. Research. Purdue University. West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA, 2004. Print. 10 December 2015.
James G Anderson is the head of research group at Purdue University. His research group addresses three domains in the research of physical sciences but for the purpose of this assignment my focus is on his research of information technology use in detecting medication errors.
In this piece of literature, he details issues relating to the incidence costs, costs related to medication errors and adverse drug events (ADEs); an analysis of Information technology in the detection of medication errors. He goes further to explain tools that are available for detecting and reducing the number of medication errors.
Montesi, Germana& Lechi, Alessandro. “Prevention of medication errors”: “detection and audit.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2014).
This piece of work is cross-sectional reviewing various aspects of medication errors: the work highlights the possible effects of medication errors; high mortality, longer hospitalization, etc., requisite for error detection among the organizations and its rationale. Also, the journal details the methods of error detection such as chart reviews, computer monitoring, administrative databases, etc.
For this reason, the authors prescribe that by integrating information technology with the medical field practitioners yield substantial benefits such as cost reduction efficiency in medical monitoring, however, the cost of such integration is expensive and time-consuming to teach skills to employees.