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I generally don’t take an alarmist approach to the topics I cover and write about, and I have to admit that I’ve not thought much about complications and deaths caused by the errors of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. Prevention Of Medical Errors [HCP3409] - $325.00 : NEVCO National Educational Video, Medical training videos and CEU programs! The goal of this program is to promote safe drug administration by medical personnel, as well as by the layperson. It is a scary fact… medication errors are an all too common problem in the healthcare industry today. Carstens understands the serious issues faced in today’s healthcare environment, and continues to develop innovative solutions to help. So now the question is… why wouldn’t you consider upgrading to the most secure and advanced workstations and cabinets available in healthcare today? Carstens is a leading provider of healthcare support products—serving more than 4,000 hospitals nationwide. If you have any comments on patient safety issues in general, or medication errors in specific, please respond to this blog, or better yet…please drop by the Macklem House, my door is always open. As a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician this story is very disturbing yet unfortunately has plagued medicine and in particular the field of pediatrics. People at University Health Network in Toronto, headed by Dr Joseph Fisher, developed a device, the Duocheck, that eliminates (zero errors in more than 300,000 uses as of April 2012) drug administration errors in the OR.
The following is a guest blog from Angela Luedke, PhD student, Centre for Neuroscience Studies. One of the best things about being a Dean at Queen’s is the close and special relationship I have with our three academic hospitals in Kingston. However, since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report in 1999 entitled To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System, it seems that more people are taking a closer look at this topic. Part I covers information related to factors that impact the occurrence of medication errors, methods of prevention, and educational guidelines.

Consider that clinicians have access to more than 10,000 prescription medications, and more than 80% of American adults take at least one medication regularly.
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Kim Sears from Queen’s School of Nursing, along with her colleagues from across Canada, O’Brien-Pallas, Stevens, and Murphy, published their findings on a Pan-Canadian study of medication errors in the paediatric hospital population. The Relationship Between the Nursing Work Environment and the Occurrence of Reported Paediatric Medication Administration Errors: A Pan Canadian Study. I agree that an never ending focus on patient safety starts with establishing, refining and practicing all of the requisite competences. I agree with the inference, that we should more widely deploy technology to assist us with mitigation of medical error. The Electronic health record with electronic physician order entry provides real time dose and indication guidance for MDs adn RNs and eliminates issues of abbreviations, legibility etc.
The IOM report stated that at least 44,000 people, and perhaps as many as 98,000 people, die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. This increases the chances of an error occurring in administration, dosage or mixing of harmful drugs that can cause serious side effects. WALLAroo® workstations offer a SMART, cost-effective and highly secure system that any healthcare facility can incorporate—to streamline systems, enhance efficiencies and maximize medication and data safety and accuracy. In a small sample of 18 hospital wards, she uncovered four deaths attributable to medication error. Establishing such as system in our region is an essential step in reducing medication errors.

In contrast, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that in 2008, 34,017 people died in motor vehicle accidents. Nearly HALF of adverse drug events (ADEs) today are preventable—especially with the right technology and protocol advancements. Over the three-month period of the study, which involved a questionnaire in which nursing staff reported medication errors or “near misses”, there were 372 errors or potential errors uncovered. There have been literally thousands of studies since, and more importantly, a systematic movement around the world, to minimize and mitigate medical error.
The culture of quality which I know you and the hospitals are partnering on fostering, through the SEAMO reward for Departmental Quality committee, should also help. The IOM report defined medical errors as the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim, and claimed that these errors cost the country seventeen to twenty-nine billion dollars annually. Still, fourteen years later, Sears’ publication illustrates just how difficult this is, and underscores the fact that we still need to be vigilant and attentive to medical error with virtually everything we, as health professional clinicians, do. Systems that work are imperative as are the practice sessions required to perfect the choreographed dance of pediatric resuscitation. It’s hard to imagine that in a country as advanced as the United States so many deaths are attributed to medical errors in hospitals.
However, organizations that rank health care systems from various countries don’t show that to be the case. Medical errors can be attributed to sloppy handwriting, lack of communication among healthcare providers, inappropriately prescribed dosages of medication, and many other scenarios.

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