5 Routes to Safe Medication Administration
Medical errors stand as the third leading cause of death in the United States of America after cancer and heart diseases, claiming about 250 000 lives yearly. The errors include delayed and misdiagnosis, medication error, wrong medication, etc. Among these errors, a medication error is one of the most common and yet fatal medical errors that requires extreme care and attention. Notable to note that one out of every three misdiagnoses can lead to more complicated injury/life-threatening conditions or, at the worst, death.
Despite these irregularities, medication administration is one of the most relevant and cornerstone processes of combating diseases and infection in the healthcare system. It thus can’t be eliminated or overlooked. In an attempt to combat and significantly reduce these medication irregularities, the five rights of medication administration were introduced to the medication administration system. The five rights tag are the right patient, right drugs, right dose, right route, and the right time.
These five rights imply that physicians, pharmacists, and nurses should administer the right dose of the right medication to the right patient via the right route at the right time. Even though the strategy has significantly reduced medication errors, it hasn’t been able to purge the system of errors in medication administration thoroughly. Hence, these necessitate the need for the below five safety routes needed for safe medication administration, which every hospital administrator should note.
1. Provision of Conducive Environment
No matter how highly educated or experienced the nurses and hospital professionals are, the hospital environment’s conduciveness goes a long way in determining the effectiveness of medication administration. Unfavorable medical settings such as a hostile atmosphere for hospital workers can lower their morale to prescribe the right dose of the drug to the right patient through the right route at the right time. Likewise, constant distractions in the hospital environments, unfavorable shifting placements of medication administrators, and long hours working without rest, etc., also contribute to the possibility of high medication error.
Thus, hospital administrators should always seek adequate and conducive working conditions for workers, such as relaxation breaks during extended hours. (Here is a credible review on choosing the perfect pool cue and https://www.pingpongperfect.com/best-shuffleboard-table-review/ among many affordable choices for excellent billiard and shuffleboard games). There should also be an ideal formulation and implementation of favorable hospital policies and guidelines for workers. With proper medication protocols, effective staff workflow, and shifting placements in conducive environments, medication errors would broadly decline.
2. Deployment of Excellent Medication Technologies
Medical industries have been inventing and developing unique medical technologies like medical and patient barcoding, smart infusion and pumps for intravenous administration, medication safety alerts, single-use medication packages, and computerized order entry to reduce medication error. These technologies have been highly effective in reducing and preventing medication errors. For example, the barcoding medication administration has helped reduce medication and dose errors, wrong patients in inpatient settings.
We encourage hospital administrators to deploy these technologies in their various hospitals after ensuring the hospital professionals are well-versed in their use and safe handling. An excellent and little distractions environment would highly increase the positive outcome of the deployment of these technologies.
3. Special Care and Attention to High Alerts Drugs
Some drugs are of high alerts, and their wrong dosage or misuse can result in fatal consequences such as death, life-threatening conditions, or the need for significant emergency surgery. Examples are such drugs are opiates and narcotics, and insulins. Extra attention should be given to these drugs right from their laboratory preparations to the physicians’ prescriptions.
There should also be high handedness handling, standardizing ordering, limited use, adequate storage methods, and administration methods of the drugs. Physicians in charge of such drugs should be highly skilled, intelligent, and experienced to reduce the possibility of any disastrous medication error.
4. Adequate Education of Patients and Caregivers
Though nurses and physicians have always been at the receiving end of the blame attributed to medication errors; patients and caregivers are also responsible for the rise in these errors. Most times, patients take most of their drugs at home, and they’re therefore responsible for the correct application of the physician’s instructions. Accordingly, hospital administrators should conduct regular and intensive training for patients and their respective caregivers on the proper application of drugs and the considerable importance of compliance with the doctor’s instructions.
Special attention can be given to illiterate patients and caregivers i.e., by teaching them verbally and through illustrations and visuals. They should also be encouraged to ask the hospital professionals questions, who should provide adequate answers to their questions promptly.
5. Formulation of Quality Handling Strategies for Similar Drugs
As there are high alerts drugs, some drugs look incredibly similar to each other or have similar names. Such drugs can also lead to medication errors by the physicians as they can be mistaken for each other, therefore necessitating their need for special attention. Healthcare professionals can mitigate errors with these drugs by implementing strategies such as using the tall man lettering, adding warning labels that’ll help alert patients and workers, and configuring the computerized order entry system. The hospital management can also educate the patients and caregivers about these drugs.
The healthcare sector is one of the most critical sectors of man, and therefore deserves extreme care and attention. Consequently, we urge every individual associated with the healthcare sector to implement the above safe medication strategies, and high medication errors would soon become a thing of the past.
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