Avoid Medication Errors and Improve Patient Safety - @ JEMS.com


Avoid Medication Errors and Improve Patient Safety

Safety Zone


 
 

Rick Patrick | | Friday, January 16, 2009


Patient care safety is paramount in the practice of medicine and despite our greatest intentions medication errors still occur. The practice of medicine in EMS is no exception. No one wants to inflict harm to the very persons we are sworn to assist. So what measures can be taken to avert potential errors and harm to patients? EMS organizations and their providers should consider:

Using unit dose packaging when available

Using infusion pumps for medication drips

Issuing drug dosage and infusion charts to providers

Providing calculators

Having a policy that requires administration order confirmation (i.e. repeat order to medical direction and/or confirm with written protocols)

  • Drug
  • Dosage
  • Route

Teaching providers to

  • Verify patient medication allergies;
  • Check medication name on package;
  • Check medication name on container (syringe, vial, ampule, bottle);
  • Check/validate expiration dates;
  • Check total container quantity;
  • Recheck medication container to validate the correct drug once it has been removed from the package;
  • Draw correct dosage;
  • Verify drawn dosage, and
  • Manually calculate drips with calculator (if infusion pump is unavailable.)

Double check all of the above, and

Have a partner verify.

In the event an error occurs, follow these procedures:

  • Immediately report error to the attending physician;
  • Notify the EMS medical director immediately;
  • Contact your Supervisor, and
  • Complete an incident report.



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Provider Wellness and Safety

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Over Half of Seattle Fire Stations Test Positive for MRSA

Surprisingly high results come from test kits based on earlier study.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

AMR Crew Rescues Mississippi Driver from Fiery Crash

Rescue during crash in Jackson is caught on video.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tempe’s Drug Dilemma

Dealing with overdoses.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

I’m a Paramedic

Profile of a Northshore LIJ medic.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Cincinnati Overpass Collapse

Fatal pancake collapse occurs during demolition.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >