Medication Error is a preventable adverse effect of medical care that leads to potential harm to patients. The common types of Medication Errors are wrong time error, unauthorised drug error, omission error, and dose error.
Major factors that contribute to Medication Error are:
- Unclear Medication Instructions
- Heavy Workload
- Lack of Training
Not to worry; here are several ways to minimise Medication Error cases in your clinic that concurrently improvise your medical administration safety.
1. Reduce Working Shift Hours
Health practitioners tend to work extended hours in clinics and hospitals to offer the utmost care for patients. However, this adversely affects these hardworking physicians as they experience sleep deprivation, fatigue, and suicidal thoughts.
Hence, medical providers need to be aware of their working hours as much as they care about their patients. Besides, a forward rotation of shift work that will not disrupt the circadian rhythm may lead to less fatigue in the workplace.
Not only do reasonable working hours minimise exhaustion or stress in the workplace, but they also improve working satisfaction and motivation.
2. Proper Labelling and Branding to Avoid Medication Error
Similar medicine packaging and appearance may cause pharmacists to supply the wrong medicine to their patients accidentally. It is crucial to properly arrange the treatment according to their respective expiry date label and manufacture brand.
Moreover, different medicine brands contain different ingredients, even though they serve to treat the same illness. Therefore, proper labelling helps in handing out the right medicine to avoid fatal cases like drug allergies.
3. Proper Communication System
With unclear instructions, nurses and pharmacists can get confused when issuing medication to their patients. They might misinterpret the doctor’s hasty handwriting, which leads to providing the wrong dosage or timing.
One way to counter this problem is to adopt a proper communication strategy among staff members. For example, the STICC Protocol (situation, task, intent, concern, calibrate) encourages teams to provide feedback upon vague instructions.
Another way to improve communication efficiency is digitalised messages. Instead of giving prescriptions in rapid writing, doctors can send brief emails on the patients’ diagnosis results and further instructions.
In short, an excellent practitioner-nurse interaction can reduce chances of medical error.
4. Training Program on Medication Error
Many beginner-level medical practitioners may have learnt how to avoid medical errors, yet it is hard for them to recognise or manage this problem. Thus, a training program on detecting such errors is fundamental in clinics or hospitals.
Simulation-based learning programs prove to be functional in instructing various potential errors in healthcare. Trainees can learn different ways to encounter possible errors and collaborate to solve them.
Fully-trained staff can carry out the performance during training in an actual working environment. Another positive benefit from this training is optimising teamwork ability among members to overcome medical errors.
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