Doctors and nurses should always be looking to reduce the likelihood of medication-related errors. Not only can medication errors result in health complications, but they can also lead to costly malpractice lawsuits. Follow these tips for reducing medication errors in your practice.
The Five Rights of Medication
Every medical professional should follow the five “rights” of medication when dealing with patients. The five rights include:
- The right patient
- The right drug
- The right time
- The right dose
- The right route
Verifying the five rights before dispersing any medication will reduce errors and ensure that all medication delivery and administration facets are correct.
Even if you follow the five rights of medication, triple-checking all documentation and procedures is still necessary. No matter how many times you’ve gone through a process before, mistakes can still happen.
Paper documents leave too much room for error. Papers can go through normal wear and tear after constant handling, and sometimes, handwritten notes can be too hard to read. Electronic health records have many benefits in the medical field, including providing easy-to-read, easily accessible information on patients.
Don’t Skimp on the Details
When you want to minimize medication errors, more details are always better. When writing patient or dosage notes, provide as much detail as possible. For example, a dose of 0.25mg is easy to mistake for 25mg if you don’t add the zero to the original decimal. The extra couple seconds it’ll take to add little details could save a lot of trouble down the line.
Proper Medication Storage
Sometimes, medication doesn’t work because you didn’t store in the right place. Once again, double- and triple-check that the medication came from the proper storage before giving it to a patient. Some medications will require refrigeration, while others need a room-temperature setting.
To keep your patients safe and your practice out of trouble, follow these tips for reducing medication errors in your practice.