Preventing Medication Errors : Nursing Course


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Comparing medications that are ordered for a patient to a list of medications that they have previously been taking is known as:

reconciliation

Rationale: Medication reconciliation is the process of comparing a patient's medication orders to all of the medications that the patient has been taking in the past. This is done by developing a list of the patient's current medications, then developing a list of medications that are currently being prescribed for the patient. The two lists are then compared to each other, and any clinical decisions should be made if there are differences in the lists. The reconciliation should be communicated to all medical providers, as well as the patient. This is done to prevent medication errors such as omissions, duplications, dosing errors, or drug interactions.


If a medication error does occur, you should:

report it

Rationale: Healthcare professionals should put patient safety ahead of timeliness and fear. Nurses should exercise caution when out of the normal safety zone of practice when administering medications. Take the time to look up medication dosages and side effects when not familiar with a drug. Performing the five rights of medication administration can prevent the most common medication errors. And if an error should occur, the nurse should always take the time to report it. If an error happened in one situation for a patient, it is likely that it could happen again in similar circumstances to another nurse or patient.


It is estimated that the number of patients that are harmed each year by medication errors is:

1.5 million

Rationale:

Medications that have an increased risk of causing harm to a patient if used in error are called:

high-alert drugs

Rationale:

The primary cause of medication errors, approximately 15% of the time, is:

poor handwriting

Rationale:

To prevent errors when administering medication, the rule is to give the right medication, to the right patient, at the right time, by the correct route, and the correct dose. This is known as the:

5 rights of medication administration

Rationale:

When a medication is removed from its original container, and is stored in a syringe or medicine cup, it must be:

labeled

Rationale:

When a patient is admitted to the hospital or medical facility, their medications should be reconciled within:

24 hours

Rationale:

When writing out a medication dose, a decimal point should always be proceeded by a:

zero

Rationale:

When writing out a prescription or medication that has been given, healthcare professionals should write out complete words and not use:

abbreviations

Rationale:

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