WB01337_.gif (904 bytes)RXPert Contents

1Q97 Pages 5 & 6

LINCOLN’S BIRTHDAY EDITION 16th Edition Written & Edited by Bruce Clutcher, R.Ph., Senior Consultant, SSG

 The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention emphasizes that illegibility of prescriptions and medication orders has resulted in injuries to, or deaths of patients. The Council, therefore, made the following recommendations to help minimize errors:

In summary, the Council recommends:

Don’t Wait…Automate!
If In Doubt, Write It Out!
When In Doubt, Check It Out!
Lead, Don’t Trail!

Article from USA Today 1/21/97 by Tim Friend

Prescription drug errors double a person’s risk of dying in the hospital and cost an estimated $2 billion a year, new studies show. Prescribing errors have become such a serious problem that hospitals should invest in ways to prevent them, the researchers say. The studies in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association are the most rigorous in documenting drug errors and the money they cost. Ordering prescriptions by computer dramatically reduces preventable errors.

Preventable errors include ordering doses that are too high or prescribing drugs to which a patient is allergic. Errors most often occur in sicker patients who take more than one drug, and they most commonly occur with antibiotics and pain killers. Errors that cannot be prevented include reactions to chemotherapy. The first study, led by David Classen at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, found that:

The second study, led by David Bates at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, found preventable drug errors:

Bates estimates preventable drug errors cost the healthcare system $2 billion a year.

Pages 1&2 Pages 3&4 Pages 5&6 Pages 7&8 Pages 9&10

      WB01337_.gif (904 bytes)RXPert Contents