The paper examines the issue of medication errors prior to administration in healthcare facilities. It argues that such errors are likely to occur as a result of human factors such as lack of adequate education and training, unreliable systems and protocols, and communication gaps between healthcare providers and patients. These factors significantly contribute to high incidences of medication errors. Therefore, there is a need for healthcare facilities to tackle these human factors to reduce or prevent incidences of medication errors that happen even before they are administered.
Medication errors are a leading cause of death to patients as they infringe on their safety. Nurses commit medication errors prior to administration due to acts of commission or omission, such as giving the wrong medication or forgetting to comply with certain medical protocols. Medication errors are a result of problems in systems, procedures, practices, and products (Rodziewicz et al., 2021). They can occur prior to administration due to negligence, lack of adequate training, standardized rules and regulations, communication gaps, and unreliable systems and protocols.
Most medication errors that occur in healthcare facilities prior to actual administration are a result of human factors. Some nurses may commit medication errors due to inadequate training and education. Unqualified nurses are unable to administer medications because they are not properly trained (Billstein-Leber et al., 2018) correctly. Such nurses commit medication errors because they are ignorant of the right procedure to follow in administering medications.
Moreover, some healthcare facilities lack standardized regulations and rules that can guide nurses in administering medication in the correct manner. Some facilities use unreliable protocols and systems, which are prone to many errors and mistakes (Gunes et al., 2020). There is an increased chance of medication errors occurring when healthcare facilities lack proper guidelines on how nurses should administer medication. These errors might occur in the form of wrong labeling, incorrect prescriptions, and incomplete information, or the use of shortcuts.
Miscommunication between the nurse and patient can also contribute to medication errors prior to administration. However, there is a high likelihood of medication errors occurring when nurses fail to give patients the right information concerning medication (Escriva et al., 2019). Effective communication between the nurse and patient can prevent the occurrence of medication errors because enough information concerning the medication is provided to the patient.
Medication errors can occur before their administration because of several factors which include lack of training, unreliable systems and protocols, and lack of effective communication between nurses and patients. These factors increase the likelihood of the occurrence of medication errors before any administration has been done.
Billstein-Leber, M., Carrillo, C. J. D., Cassano, A. T., Moline, K., & Robertson, J. J. (2018). ASHP guidelines on preventing medication errors in hospitals. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 75(19), 1493-1517.
Escrivá G., Brage, R., & Fernández, J. (2019). Medication errors and drug knowledge gaps among critical-care nurses: a mixed multi-method study. BMC health services research, 19(1), 1-9.
Gunes, U., Efteli, E., Ceylan, B., Baran, L., & Huri, O. (2020). Medication errors made by nursing students in Turkey. Int J Caring Sci, 13(2), 1183-1192.
Rodziewicz, T. L., Houseman, B., & Hipskind, J. E. (2021). Medical error reduction and prevention. StatPearls [Internet].