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 ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Image Trend: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ImageTrend just challenged NEMSIS TAC and a couple others.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.?

A.J. Heightman participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way!
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Details on Discipline Released in D.C. Investigation

Interim fire chief claims punishment was not severe enough.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters Recovering from Injuries

One of the four remains in critical condition.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


More Product Videos >