How to avoid medication errors

Nurses must know about all the drug dosage details in order to reduce the chances of errors. For the proper effect of medication and for the patient’s well-being, one must be trained. For instance, healthcare workers can go through education programs like medication administration training. It will help the nurses not take the wrong steps. Here’s how to reduce medication errors.

Rights of medication administration

There are certain rights of medication administration that all nurses should know about. Firstly, they should make sure that the policies regarding institutions are followed. This involves the confirmation of medicines’ right usage of transcriptions. Moreover, correct dosage according to the health and age of the patient implies the correct route that needs to be followed.

Following reconciliation methods of medicines

All institutions should have a mechanism for medication reconciliation. This will come in handy when transferring patients from one institution to another institute, or even from one unit to the other, in the same hospital. Furthermore, nurses should know how comparison and confirmation of medication administration records (MAR) are done.

Reading back

A nurse should have the habit of reading the prescription back to the physician so that it can be ensured that everything is correct.

Option using a name alert

Name alert is used by institutions that have patients having the same sounding names. If the name alert system is not there, the medicines can easily mix up.

Zero after a decimal point

A dosage of 0.50 mg can be easily misread as 50 mg if there is no zero after the decimal point. This slight error can cost a patient’s life. So be careful with the writing and zeros. It should be clear.

Documentation of everything

Documentation helps the patient save time in the future during his visits to the hospital. The process of documentation includes labeling of medication, tracking of medication that is administered, and more. If documentation is not done, a nurse can easily increase or decrease the medication doses. Moreover, nurses should have the practice of reading the expiry date of every medicine. This is also possible that one medicine can be labeled incorrectly, which will cause lots of confusion.

The correct way of storing medications

Sometimes people ignore the fact that medications need to be stored properly at certain temperatures. Medicines that are to be kept in refrigerators shouldn’t be kept at room temperature and vice versa. Moreover, one must also keep track of when the medicine has been opened. Some medicines’ expiry dates start as soon as the seal is broken.

Knowledge of your institute’s medication policies

Nurses must be aware of all the laws and regulations that are followed at the institutes they work at. Here the education comes in handy because the policies are regarding the transcription practices, documentation compiling, and the way medicines are ordered.

We all know that nothing should go wrong when it comes to a person’s health. There are a hundred cases that report that a patient was given the wrong medicine, the wrong dosage, or was given drugs at the wrong time because of which the patient passed away. These issues arise due to a lack of knowledge and the careless attitude of nurses and doctors. Following the above points will surely bring a change.