Preventing Medication Errors By The Institute Of Medicine ( Iom )

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In their landmark report, “Preventing Medication Errors,” the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in 2006, reported that a hospitalized patient will be subjected to more than one medication error each day, on average. Medication errors are very costly not only to patients but also to families, employers, hospitals, health-care providers, and insurance companies. One study found that one medication error added about $8,750 to the cost of the hospital stay. When one sees these figures, you can see that this needs to be addressed (Aspden, Wolcott, Palugod, & Bastien, 2006).
According to Fowler, Sohler and Zarillo (2009), “A medication error is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional or consumer” (Fowler, Sohler, & Zarillo, 2009, p. 103). Medication errors can occur throughout the medication delivery process, but most commonly occur during the prescription and administration phases. The IOM study concluded that reducing medication errors demands the attention and active involvement of all parties concerned. Technologies that will assist in reducing and preventing medication errors should be adopted (Aspden et al., 2006).
Medication errors can be decreased. How can healthcare professionals’ achieve this? Two ways to address the problem are through education and the use of available technologies such as barcode medication administration.
Ongoing education…

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