Saturday, September 3, 2011

40 Tips To Reduce Medication Errors

With the growing population and the equal number of growing medical prescriptions, it’s understandable that medication errors will occur at times. These errors can happen at home, at hospitals, and at pharmacies.
Tips To Reduce Medication Errors At Home

Here are a few tips to avoid medication errors at home:
1. Keep your prescription medicines locked up so that kids cannot get them.
2. Pin up your doctor’s prescription next to your bed and read it each time you take your medications. This will help prevent accidental overdose.
3. Note the expiry dates of medications; if a medication is nearing expiry, mark a huge red X on it.
4. If your pharmacy issues expired medications to you by mistake, bring this to your health provider’s notice.
5. Never take another person’s prescription even if you have a similar problem.
6. Always monitor your children when they take their prescriptions.
7. Don’t retain left over prescription medications to use later if the same symptoms occur. Always consult your doctor each time.
8. Throw out any medication that’s gone past its expiration date.
9. Do not store any medications for which you’ve lost the prescriptions.
10. Always find out about the medication you’ve been prescribed, its purpose and dosage.
11. Understand the drug directions; how many times a day, and how many hours apart are you supposed to take a drug?
12. Find out if the drug should be stored in the fridge or at room temperature
13. Find out if you need to avoid medications, food items and beverages
14. Find out if there are any side effects of the medication and what you should do to manage them
15. When you give medication to your kids, read the drug name, dosage and prescription each time.
16. Make sure only one member of your family is in charge of dispensing medications to your children.
17. Always use the measuring spoon that accompanies the medicine and not your kitchen spoons.
18. Use compliance aids such as medicine containers with dosage based sections for daily doses. This will keep you from mixing up your medications.
19. Report all medications you are currently taking including OTC drugs, diet supplements, and herbs and so on. Some of the medications you’re taking might reduce the effect of a prescription medication.
20. Use a single pharmacy for all your prescriptions to ensure your records are in one place.
21. Your doctor and your pharmacy should know about y our medication allergies and any unpleasant drug reactions.
Medication Errors Reduce Medication Errors Reduce Medication Errors
Tips To Reduce Medication Errors At Healthcare Centers
In recent times, depressed by the number of reported medication errors in healthcare centers, awareness campaigns and regulatory medicine schedules have sprung up in treatment settings.
22. Doctors must ensure that their prescriptions are legible and clear so that no mix-ups happen at pharmacies or at hospitals.
23. Implement SureScript Systems e-prescribing software that enables a two-way link between pharmacists and hospital doctors. Using this link, prescription information can be exchanged, helping to prevent a great number of medication errors.
24. Crosscheck drug bar codes on the prescription information coded in patients’ wristbands before administering the drug. These bar codes help verify that the right patient is receiving the right drug, apart from alerting the system if the medication is wrong, late, or of the wrong dosage.
25. If a prescription does not have a bar code on it, then label it individually and ensure that the information is entered into the patient’s database
Tips To Reduce Medication Errors At Pharmacies
Several mix-ups occur at pharmaceutical outlets. Prescriptions that are wired in or telephoned to a pharmacist are sometimes interpreted wrongly, and the wrong medication or dosage is given to the patient, causing many avoidable errors.
26. Use a computerized order entry system that allows doctors to enter their prescriptions to avoid the errors that arise from legibility problems.
27. Clarify spelling of the drug name if the order is verbal and make the doctor spell out the dosage and the type of medication.
28. Be sure to clarify both generic and brand names of a drug. Sometimes, the same drug can be of different powers; short acting, long acting and so on.
29. Reorganize shelves and separate medications that bear similar names so that there’s no confusion during disbursement.
30. Check with the doctor if you find that the prescription is illegible or if information is missing. For example, SC/SQ can be mistaken for SL in a badly written prescription.
Tips To Reduce Medication Errors By Doctors
Doctors can do their bit to reduce medication errors as well, since prescription illegibility is one of the main reasons why mix-ups happen at pharmacies.
31. Use metric units while describing the quantity of a medication to avoid over dosage. You can use standard units if the therapy indicates it.
32. Expand the units and do not write U to abbreviate units as this can be misunderstood as zero, causing over dosage.
33. Mention your patient’s weight and age on the prescription. Elderly people and infants require lower dosages and the weight indication will prevent errors and potential disasters.
34. Highlight problem drug pairs.
35. Complete prescription orders by including drug name, concentration, and dosage.
36. If the dosage amount is less than one, indicate it as 01 and not .10.
37. Avoid using drug name abbreviations and directions in Latin. Several abbreviations are misunderstood; for example, Q.O.D. is taken for Q.D. or Q.I.D. TIW is read as thrice a day and HS is taken as bedtime, which is the Latin abbreviation, instead of Half Strength.
38. Apart from the main prescription, provide a few specific directions to ensure correct use of the drug and dosage check.
39. Mention the reason for the drug, unless by doing so patient confidentiality is violated.
40. Always be ready to provide clarifications to your patients and pharmacies. A little bit of your time will go a long way to prevent accidents.
Guest Writer : John own an online medical uniform store where you can shop for branded scrubs for nurses, lab coats, scrub sets and lots more.

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