Preventing Medication Errors – Health System Example

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"Preventing Medication Errors" is a decent example of a paper on the health system. A medication error is prescribed as a fault that occurs during the dispensation of medical care to a patient, of which the outcome has dire effects in terms of health, and most probably the life, of the ill person in need. They occur during the treatment of the patient or issuing of medicinal drugs. All parties are involved in one way or another in this grave issue, including the diseased person, the related families, the nurses, and the medical practitioners.

These errors are the most avoidable in medicinal practice (Aspden & Bootman, 2006). Research shows that medication errors are on a rise, which has a consequent effect on increasing the number of injuries and deaths in hospitals and health-care centers. The health care personnel are one cause. Doctors might issue an incorrect medicament to a patient, which adversely affects him or her. The personnel might make rash decisions and err in judgment due to inadequate training. The nurses might act out of negligence not to check a patient’ s vitals, assuming the sick person is getting better after the doctor administers treatment.

This often occurs to new trainees. The well-being of older persons is at most risk, as they tend to forget the exact prescription given. This memory lapse might cause them to take excess drugs than they should have, thus endangering their lives. However, a qualified attendant is often assigned to older people to take better care of them (Cohen, 2006). Hospitals overcrowded with patients will experience more medication errors due to non-observation to appropriate hospital procedures. A medical test or examination might not be done to a patient in need as medical equipment might not be available or has broken down.

The patient will be given drugs before the underlying issue being properly treated. Most hospital administrations are also focused on reducing expenditures due to limited government funding, especially in public hospitals. This belt-tightening measure is endangering the patient’ s health (Cohen, 2006). In view of all these incidences, substantial measures to prevent these errors must be undertaken. The admittance that health-care specialists are also human beings, they are prone to error and can slip in their work.

They should also own up when a mistake is done to ensure no further errors occur in the future. This would identify the cause of the error and provide a workable solution to it. Further training of nurses and doctors in form of seminars and conferences to address this issue will limit these medication errors. Extra government funding to modernize medical equipment as technological advancement will limit mistakes. The patients and their families should be attentive and alert in following up the treatment procedures to the latter, for instance, checking the medicine labels (Aspden & Bootman, 2006). Summarily, if the government, the healthcare institutions, citizens, and all other involved parties are actively engaged in ensuring the delivery of high-quality healthcare to all, it will greatly reduce injuries and deaths caused by medication errors.


Aspden, P., & Bootman, J. (2006). Preventing medication errors: Quality Chasm Series. Boston, MA: National Academies Press.

Cohen, M. (2006). Medication errors. New York, NY: American Pharmacist Association.

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