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How to Prevent Medication Errors

Discover practical strategies on how to prevent medication errors and ensure patient safety.
After understanding what medication errors are, the next step is to draft plans to resolve them. In this step, Chiang will discuss what are the various strategies pharmacists can utilize.

Common Causes for Medication Errors

  • Look-alike and sound-alike drugs
  • Errors in communication (verbal and written)
  • Distractions and overwork
  • Poorly designed medication labels

IOM recommendations

  • Involve patients to manage their own medication therapies
  • Increase accessibility to patient/drug information
  • Improve medication labels
  • Health information technology
Pharmacists should also:
  • Keep up with the medication literature.
  • Verify the accuracy of new prescription data.
  • Monitor for errors and near misses, make corrections as needed, and report errors to external reporting programs.
  • Make good use of barcodes.
  • Carry outpatient education.
  • Use electronic prescribing.
  • Optimize decision-support systems.
To learn more about the prevention of medication errors, check out this course: Good Pharmacy Practice: Pharmaceutical Services from Taipei Medical University.
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Good Pharmacy Practice: Pharmaceutical Services

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