medication errors

  1. I just read a statistic that an estimated 95% of medication errors are not reported because nurses fear that they will lose their job. Do you think this is accurate? Have you ever known of any medication errors that surely occured but were never reported for this reason? Just wonderin' 'cuz that 95% figure seems a bit high, doesn't it?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   RNinICU
    I can only speak for myself here. I have made very few med errors, but I always report them. Even something as simple as a Tylenol can have adverse affects. The only med errors I have not reported are the ones I didn't realize I made.
  4. by   OrthoNutter
    I'd believe it....you're supposed to report near-misses but I doubt any of them EVER get reported. I mean, let's say you've drawn up the drug, get to the bedside and then go for the five rights and allergies check. Whoopsie daisy, it's a new IVAB and the patient's allergic to penicillin. Throw the stuff away and ring the doc to tell him that you can't give it. But do you report that you almost gave penicillin to someone who was allergic to it? Hell no...

    I report my med errors...haven't made a hell of a lot but the ones I have made have been due to a difference in interpretation because of handwriting issues. Fortunately, there haven't been any catastrophic results of those errors. Now I play it safe, if I can't read it properly or need a MIMMs to decipher it, I toss it back at the docs time and time again until I can. It's my butt really, not theirs....
  5. by   BadBird
    I haven't made any that I am aware of. Unless you count the many many many times that pharmacy sends medications so late that a dose is missed, in that case whose fault is it? When you fax, call, call again and again and have no control over when your meds will be deivered even offering to pick them up. Filling out statement of concerns is a joke so many were filled out that there weren't any more to be had. If you count the time the medication should have been given then of course mistakes were made but not by the nurses, think of how time consuming calling the pharmacy is.
  6. by   shannonRN
    i believe it! had an ed day inservice a couple of months ago and found out that a med error also occurs when pharmacy sends the wrong med or expired med. never knew that....never reported it.

    just about a week or so ago, the narc count was off. somebody gave morphine po instead of oxycontin or something like that. they just fixed it on the narc sign out sheet and never wrote it up.

    i don't know if they aren't reported because they fear losing their job or because of the extra paperwork that so many of them ****** and moan about...i know my hospital is trying to convince the nurses to fill out those incident reports. they want to track down why and how they errors occur.
  7. by   Dr. Kate
    Hard to say if the numbers are that high. Probably are because of all the "wrong time" things that can happen.
    We have a PI/Risk Management dept that is trying to change the view of med errors, and other incidents, to one of non-blame. In so many cases it is the system that either creates, sustains, or supports the errors the only way those things change is trhough reporting.
    Unfortunately, for the few med errors I have made, the problem has not been the system but me.
    It is really a matter that a pattern of errors, med and otherwise, that leads to discipline, not a single error. The bad thing is that a single error does have the potential for destroying lives on many different levels.
  8. by   shannonRN
    just saw this in nursing 2002

    Q: I'm reluctant to report medication errors and other adverse incidents for fear of discipline-or worse. Is an employer likely to fire a nurse for reporting an error she made while on duty?--L.M., RN

    A: Many nurses worry that their employer will consider them poor practitioners if they report an error. But the trend today is quite the opposite. In fact, you're more likely to be fired if you don't report an error you made.
    Hospitals are working to reduce medical errors by understand the kinks in their systems that lead to them. Success depends on good date, so administrators need the facts. Some even offer incentives to employees who report errors.
    The current philosophy is to improve systems, not punish individuals. So by all means, report any erros you make. Just make sure you closely follow your hospital's policy and procedures for reporting errors-including the use of appropriate forms- to protect this information from discovery if an injury leads to leagal action.
    --Penny Simpson Brooke, APRN, MS, JD
  9. by   Dr. Kate
    The Director of Education here says she does not believe anyone who says they have never made a med error. Premise, everybody has made at least one. So, if someone says they haven't they're lying, or even worse, they made one they didn't recognize and that's frightening. Bottom line with her, the person is not to be trusted. I think she's right.

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