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This course gives a brief overview of medical errors and how they affect massage therapists.
A medical error is “a preventable adverse effect of care, whether or not it is evident or harmful to the patient. Communication, surgical errors, accidental infection, lab errors and treatment errors are all common medical errors that happen in taking care of a patient. The biggest cause of medical errors is communication problems, but there are additional categories of common causes, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Medication errors are the most common medical error, so we have dedicated a separate chapter to discuss them.
There is currently no Federal system requiring health care professionals to report medical errors. The best way to understand how medication errors happen and how to prevent them is to consider their classification, which can be contextual, modal, or psychological. Psychologists consider an error to be a disorder of an intentional act, and they distinguish between errors in planning an act and errors in its execution.
Knowledge-based errors can be related to any type of knowledge, general, specific, or expert. Rule-based errors can further be categorized as (a) the misapplication of a good rule or the failure to apply a good rule; and (b) the application of a bad rule. This classification can help understand how errors can be prevented, as discussed in detail elsewhere [15].

Medication errors, which can lead to adverse drug reactions, require clear and unambiguous definitions, so that patients, prescribers, manufacturers, and regulators can all understand each other. Around 1.3 million people in the United States are harmed every year through medical errors.
Medication (the process) is the act of giving a medication (the object) to a patient for any of these purposes. Contextual classification deals with the specific time, place, medicines, and people involved. If a prior intention to reach a specified goal leads to action, and the action leads to the goal, all is well. The classification of medication errors on the basis of the underlying psychological mechanisms, based on how errors occur, can suggest strategies that help to reduce their occurrence. A medication (the object) can be considered to be the same as a medicinal product, which has been defined in terms of what a medicinal product is and what it does.
This definition reminds us of the distinction between the drug itself (the active component) and the whole product.
However, it does not include medications when they are used to probe systems for nondiagnostic purposes, such as the use of phenylephrine to study baroreceptor reflexes in a physiological or pharmacological experiment. Different definitions of medication errors have been tested, as all technical definitions should be.
Multiplicity of medication safety terms, definitions and functional meanings: when is enough enough?

Errors in prescribing, preparing, and giving medicines – definition, classification, and prevention. Random and systematic medication errors in routine clinical practice: a multicentre study of infusions, using acetylcysteine as an example. Testing the practical aspects of therapeutics by objective structured clinical examination. These tips are focused on preventing surgery errors, preventing hospital acquired infections and maintaining electronic medical records. In this case it was done by devising scenarios and determining which would constitute an error under each of the definitions. Memory-based errors occur when something is forgotten; for example, giving penicillin, knowing the patient to be allergic, but forgetting. However, classification based on psychological theory [21] is to be preferred, as it explains events rather than merely describing them. Please be sure to check our state requirements page and contact your state to verify your requirements.

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