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Medication errors and how to prevent them


For the last 2 weeks, we covered how medication use is managed. However, medical errors are bound to occur, thus it is important in knowing what kind of medical errors there are and how to prevent/deal with them. Like medical errors, drug shortages may arise despite good inventory management.

In this step, Lee will address the various medical errors, and how they are managed at TVGH.

Key points

According to the Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP), pharmacists should provide effective medication therapy management (MTM).

Drug-related problems include:

  • Medication errors

  • Adverse drug reactions

  • Adverse drug events

  • Broadly speaking, drug-related problems include all issues that potentially affect the success of medication treatment.

Medication errors:

  • Prescription errors

  • Transcription errors

  • Preparation and dispensing errors

  • Administration errors

Adverse drug reactions (ADR) can be divided into two types.

  • Type A: predictable ADR. Higher incidence rate, lower mortality rate. It is related to dose and pharmacological effects.

  • Type B: unpredictable ADR. Lower incidence rate, higher mortality rate. Not related to dose or pharmacological effects.


Various strategies are put in place to prevent errors. These include utilizing the bar code system, and medicine trolleys equipped with doors and locks, 40 error-proofing mechanisms in CPOE query and checking systems. Pharmacists also verify right after physician prescribing based on multiple databases. There is also an online medication error and ADR reporting system to maintain service quality and medication safety. All medical professionals can report ME or ADR via the system.

Share and learn:

How do you respond to ADRs in your hospital?

What are the preventative strategies utilized in your hospital?

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Good Pharmacy Practice: Medication Management

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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