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

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


More Product Videos >