Healthcare compliances training and discussion blog


Wrong medication is a worrisome issue that haunts the healthcare facilities around the world. Improper medication procedures lead to unsafe drug mix up or drug overdose, which exposes the patient to risk of drug complications and at same time increases the cost of treatment. The Joint Commission strives to make the medication procedure as safe as possible by encouraging safe practices. The prime objective is to eliminate the medication errors, which can occur during the course of patient´s admission, transfer, treatment or discharge.

Joint Commission strives to enhance the patient´s safety through inclusion of following safe practices into the medication procedure with the sole purpose to eliminate or drastically reduce the risk to patient´s life due to drug complications.

Involve Patient in the Treatment

The idea is make the patient central figure in the medication procedure. The patient should be allowed to speak openly about the treatment and his or her views should be taken into account. Further medical history, allergies and drugs that induce adverse reactions in patient should be taken into account while prescribing the drugs. This is a crucial feedback, which should guide the medical staff to treat the patient successfully without putting his or her life at risk due drug complication, at any stage of the treatment. The patient should be made aware of drugs prescribed and how they will help them in their recovery. Any doubts pertaining to the drugs should be clarified so that they can use the drug properly and at same time understand the resultant side effects.

Maintain Proper Medication Documentation

The hospital on admission should check the past medical records and take into the consideration the present requirement before prescribing any medication. It should maintain a detailed record of daily dosage administered, the delivery route and patient´s allergies. Specific care should be taken while administering high risk medicines, which if wrongly administered, can seriously threaten the life of the patient. Further during discharge or transfer to another health service provider, the prescribed medication and the frequency of use should be verified so that no drug complications occur.

Involve a Pharmacist.

There are many drugs that are available in the market, which have similar names but are used for different purposes. Any mix up due to wrong communication in form of bad writing or lack of proper drug knowledge can put the health of patient at risk. The availability of increasing numbers of newer drugs in the market makes it difficult for the doctors to keep themselves updated. This compromises the patient safety. The best way out, is to involve a pharmacist in the medication process as the doctors can have extra pair of sharper and trained eyes that can easily eliminate the medication errors and ensure patient safety.

Double Check the Medication Procedure

There should be an independent entity that crosschecks the whole medication procedure of the patient right from the prescription to actual administration of the drug to the patient. This extra safeguard helps to filter out the errors that might still exist in the medication procedure no matter how well it has been followed by the medical staff. This is a key security feature, which effectively removes any shortcoming that might have been overlooked or crept into medication procedure due to human lapse.

The prime objective of Joint Commission here, is to create a medication procedure, which encourages patient participation and at same time places stringent checks to root out any existing discrepancies in the medication procedure so that patient is protected from drug complications.

Safer Medication procedure protects patient from drug complications.

Jason Gaya

Read more on Joint Commission, at www.empowerbpo.com

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