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Prescription Error Estimates in Different Countries

So the WHO has a initiative called global patient safety challenge. And it’s a five year challenge focusing on medication error. That’s an important part of medical error, And they estimated about 10% patient harmed, 43 million people suffer from medication error, this is like twice the population of Taiwan every year, suffer from the medication error every year. And it costs 42 billion dollars, um, that’s about twice as many as the cost of national health insurance in Taiwan, Okay. So the initiative from WHO is to reduce severe avoidable medication-related harm by 50 percent in the next five years, which is quite ambitious. But again, what is avoidable? Medication-related, how severe, we can understand severe, but what’s avoidable?
You know, and what’s not avoidable? Right? And I define avoidable by you know, you can avoid it by any means possible especially smart ways like AI, right? And there are four types of medication error from prescribing and then dispensing error, (wrong medicine given to the patients) and then administering and compliance (Paitents took the medcine in wrong way. ) so there are many different ways to uh make an error. So in Taiwan, we have about three hundred and sixty million prescriptions every year because we do see our doctors a lot. Okay. This is the right number.
Although we have 23 million people, but we have three hundred and sixty million prescriptions per year, and our own research indicates about five percent of the prescriptions may contain some error from very minor to very serious. Okay. I’m not saying every error kills people, that’s not what I’m saying, but you know, 5% is about 18 million, So out of this 18 million, we do an estimate, this is based on of course not very solid science, it’s called The Iceberg Theory, right? So one in 300 cases. One in 300 near-miss will become an error, and we estimated that one in 300 prescriptions with some error could harm people, that’s about sixty thousand people every year.
If we look at China prescribes about eight billion rescription per year. Okay. And the error raises about seven percent. There are different reports, but let’s use seven percent, and you know, their prescription with error could be as big as our number of prescriptions, you know, in Taiwan. (About 300 million prescriptions error), and out of these, potentially 1 million people could get harm, or die from the error.

Continuing on explaining the seriousness of the medical error, Dr. Yu-Chuan (Jack) Li explains further the types of medical errors. Then he will tell the amounts and percentages of medical errors in Taiwan, the U.S., and China.

Reviewing the severity of the problem, WHO hopes to reduce severe avoidable medication-related harm by 50 percent in the next five years. So what error is avoidable? We will discuss AI-Enhanced Safety of Prescriptions in the next step and figure out what is the possible solutions.

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