Medication errors can occur throughout the medication-use system. Such as, when prescribing a drug, upon entering information into a computer system, when the drug is being prepared or dispensed, or when the drug is given to or taken by a patient. The U. FDA reviews the reports and classifies them to determine the cause and type of error. The reports come from drug manufacturers, and healthcare professionals and consumers through MedWatch , the Agency's safety information and adverse event reporting program. Serious harmful results of a medication error may include:.
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Recent studies of medical errors have estimated errors may account for as many as , deaths annually in the United States U. Error rates are significantly higher in the U. At the same time less than 10 percent of medical errors are reported. Data were collected on 17, errors reported by participating hospitals over a month period. Latent growth curve analysis revealed that reporting of errors by health care providers increased significantly over the four quarters. At the same time, the proportion of corrective actions taken by the hospitals remained relatively constant over the 12 months. A simulation model was constructed to examine the effect of potential organizational changes resulting from error reporting.
When health care providers have access to complete and accurate information , patients receive better medical care. Electronic health records EHRs can improve the ability to diagnose diseases and reduce—even prevent—medical errors , improving patient outcomes. With EHRs, providers can have reliable access to a patient's complete health information. This comprehensive picture can help providers diagnose patients' problems sooner.