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Medication Errors In Canada, Their Causes And Also How To Reduce Them (Essay Sample)


The task was to write an essay about medication errors that have occurred in Canada and their causes and also how to reduce them.

Nursing Assignment Name: Institution: Date: Introduction Administering and prescribing restricted medication is a delicate issue. While the right medications improves an individual’s mental, physical, emotional and well-being, drugs that are powerful can pose some serious danger to the patient (Wung, 2013). When a health care provider administers too little or too much or even administers the wrong medication, the effects are devastating. In this research, we shall take a look at a serious medication error that happened in Canada, what effects the error had, how can the state do to prevent these mistakes and also how the health care providers can do to prevent the errors from happening again, but if they to occur again, what will the care provider do differently to respond to it. This medical error case involved a four-year-old from Saskatchewan in Canada where a pharmacist administered a wrong dose instead of one Adam’s doctor prescribed to him. The doctor had prescribed a 0.3 ml liquid dose to treat the boy’s ADHD, the pharmacist administered a 3 ml dose. 30 minutes after the boy was given the first dosage, he started to act like a slobbering drunk where he couldn’t even stand up as he was drooling to a point where he had to be carried because he couldn’t walk on his own (Lesar, 2017). The overdose went unnoticed for months until the boy’s parents decided to report the son’s reaction to the family doctor and also got a second opinion at a local clinic. But eventually the overdose was discovered after a second visit to the doctor and was immediately corrected. But to make sure that there was no permanent damage to the boy’s liver and kidney, he will have to be checked by a doctor over a period of five years (Tam, 2017). The factor that led to this error is a dispensing error the wrong dose was administered to the wrong patient by the pharmacist as the doctor had prescribed the correct dose to the boy. Medication errors can cause severe physical injury or even death at times, to the patients, these preventable mistakes can also severe psychological, emotional, and financial stress to the family and loved ones as well as the health care providers and the entire health system as a whole (Wolf, 2010). In this case, it caused Adam a lot of pain to the point where he was not able to walk and even could have led to a new condition by damaging his kidney or his liver. Also, to the boy’s family, it caused them a lot of stress trying to figure out Adam’s new condition they even had to carry him given that he walked on his own before. The pharmacist who inadvertently gave Adam the wrong dose suffered from guilt, shame and self-doubt in a condition known as the “the second victim” where its effects can be life threatening as some health care providers can even commit suicide (Senders, 2014). And the fact that Adam’s family pursued person injury lawsuit against the pharmacist for negligence, it will affect his career advancement and also revoking of his silence. The health care system will spend a lot of money investigating and modifying policies trying to ensure that such errors does happen again. Cumulative errors affect the reputation and the re-accreditation of the entire health system in Canada. There is no mandatory medical errors disclosure to a public body and also no national relevant system to monitor how an error like this happens which makes it difficult for the regulatory bodies to take action on care providers who commits medical errors. This is one of the political factors that influence medication errors (Kaushal, 2011). Others factors that contributed to this medication error is the decreasing sense of commitment, inadequate attention to details because the pharmacist ought to have noticed the error in the first place. Other factors could have been tiredness, confusion and stress from the care provider. Some economic factors that led to the error include; lack of skilled and competent health care providers, crowded pharmacy and long work days clearly influenced this error (Aspen, 2016). The state should ensure that health care providers employed by the government are highly competent for the job. This is the first step to preventing much more serious medical errors from happening in the future. The hospital’s response was systemic as it involved examining Adam to make sure that the error hadn’t cause any damage to his organs. It also involved shifting from the post-accident analysis toward designing certain care processes that will help in detecting any more errors (Wakefiled, 2016). The national agencies are to hold the pharmacist accountable for his action by shifting from blame to punishment to learning how fix systemic problems through standardization and simplification procedures and to also reduce over reliance of the memory. The national safety organization is addressing this error and many others by employing strategies that helps health care providers in the primary care to improve patient safety by reducing medication errors (Cohen, 2018). These strategies include using computer technology, employing clinical pharmacist and also through educational programs. These organizations have introduced a process of documenting and establishing a definitive, consistent list of medications across care transitions and then rectifying any discrepancies that they come across. Physician’s concern about damaging the relationship with the patients is a factor and a major barrier to the medical error responses. Also, the state is concerned with the damage medical errors will cause to the entire health system, hence the fear of disclosure. It might also lower the cost of health which impacts the country’s economy. In order to improve the patients’ safety and care, the hospital environments should promote communications in all the levels as supporting care providers (Brady, 2009). They should encourage questions on issues concerning patients’ safety and should also be allowed to report any medical errors without putting too much blame on the care providers. This would enhance the value of education in medical residents’ training and also, giving them the opportunity to learn from their colleagues which will improve quality of care, continuously, through cooperative teamwork (Blegen, 2015). Even though this does not apply to the medical residents only, it focuses attention to them which may be a good place to introduce the required change of culture so as to shift the team’s mentality or the shared accountability and responsibility in health care settings. One of the leadership skills the health care provider should have is by being patient-centered where he ensures successful patient outcomes through promoting greater nursing expertise towards the patient. This leadership reduces medical error rates as the care provider administers the prescribed dose with caution which in turn reduces rates of error deaths. This is due to the fact ...
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