Three of the top 10 patient safety concerns directly involve medication management, according to the annual report from the Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI).
Other concerns, such as staffing shortages can indirectly impact medication management and lead to patient harm. Who is responsible for medication management at your facility? What steps are you taking to enhance patient safety and reduce your liability?
What are the top three patient safety concerns directly related to medication management?
- Not looking beyond the “five rights” to achieve medication safety. The five rights alone will not prevent medication errors. The five rights are a good starting point, but without additional safety strategies and procedures, they are not nearly enough.
- Medication errors resulting from inaccurate patient medication lists. Medication reconciliation inaccuracies have long been an area of concern and great risk to patient safety. Most medication reconciliation errors are clinically significant, and some are fatal.
- Accidental administration of neuromuscular blocking agents. We are all familiar with the neuromuscular blockers such as rocuronium and succinylcholine, being on the high-alert list. Of course, when used in error, these can cause severe patient harm, or even death.
What are some steps can you take to enhance patient safety?
There are many steps you can take to make your patients safer. Follow all the suggestions from the ECRI report and work with your pharmacy consultant to develop new processes or to assess and enhance your current processes. This week, we are sharing tips with our clients on specific steps to enhance patient safety and reduce facility liability.
Patient safety is a team activity and requires multidisciplinary collaboration. We all lead busy schedules, and the staffing shortages make it even more tempting to skip functions we may think are not top priority. When it comes to medication management, there is no low priority. It’s essential that each facility have a leadership-driven attitude to assessing and improving policies and procedures. Whether it’s a regulatory requirement or not, each facility should include a pharmacy consultant on their patient safety team. If you have questions or need help, let us know.
ECRI is an independent, nonprofit organization improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of care across all healthcare settings. With a focus on technology evaluation and safety, ECRI is respected and trusted by healthcare leaders and agencies worldwide. Over the past fifty-five years, ECRI has built its reputation on integrity and disciplined rigor, with an unwavering commitment to independence and strict conflict-of-interest rules.
The Consultant Pharmacists at OctariusRx provide guidance on safe medication management, survey readiness and cost savings to ambulatory healthcare facilities/surgery centers, senior care facilities and pharmacies. We also help individual patients optimize their medications to improve their quality of life and save money. Contact us for assistance.