Med errors--

  1. There have been a lot of med errors in the last few months in our correctional facility. We are double checking physician's orders, checking each others orders as they are taken off the order sheet and placed on the MARs. Does anyone have any more suggestions, to further reduce errors. One of our provider's has terrible handwriting, he has been talked to about it, but his handwriting hasn't improved. Some of our suggestions are to keep the inmates quiet while pill call is going on, some of them act like it's social hour, talking and laughing, etc. Also we would like to have 2 pill nurses, that would help them to take more time to double check the meds as they are pulling them. I would appreciate any suggestions on this matter. Our facilty has over 450 inmates, our nurse sick calls are getting out of hand, then complain about their copay ($3), they would rather use their money to buy junk food from the commissary, they buy all the spicy junk food, ramen noodles, pepperoni, soda, etc, then come to medical to get antacids or zantac, but they say it's not their diet causing the heartburn, etc...I could go on and on about this...but I'd really aappreciate any help at all, to cut down on med errors...
    Thank you,
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    About 2003rn

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 60; Likes: 8
    Staff nurse
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in geriatrics, med-surg, corrections


  3. by   jjacobsrn
    We have handwritten MARs which get transcribed every week... this makes our med errors triple what they should be. I wish they were keed in by pharmacist (like on the outside) and then followed by nursing. The meds should be packed/pulled but not removed from packaging -- then double check infront of inmate. That helps me. I also think about every med and why they are getting it... that way things that dont make sense are not given. I had a nurse the other day give an Alzheimers med to a 30 yo pt because she went to the wrong cell. If she had thought about the med .... she would have second guessed herself and double checked IM and orders.
    I think there are a lot of med errors because people are not following the 5 rights. I know it is intimidating in front of an inmate to take your time.... they are always in a rush -- as if they have somewhere important to be!! But we have to take our time... it's our license.
  4. by   2003rn
    Thanks for your input. Our MARs are preprinted, but there are so many new orders or changed orders by the time we get them, that we pull charts to make sure the orders are written correctly. Changeover is a big deal for us, we have to have every MAR triple checked before the actual changeover, the orders that have changed have to be verified by pulling the chart and actually reading the order again. We are all having to do chart checks before we put the charts back on the rack, etc. But we always have a few med errors. I get upset when an inmate takes her meds, then tells you that she thinks that she got the wrong pills. I tell them to check the pills before taking them...