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Posts tagged ‘Medication’

Joint Commission: Ensuring Highest Pediatric Care Standards Through Safer Medication

Wrong drug administration or a drug mix up can cause serious harm to the health of the patient. The risk increases manifolds, if the patient happens to be a child. A baby, kid or grown up child are at high risk from wrong drug administration and it is of utmost importance for the healthcare facility to follow the stringent Joint Commission laws specially created for this purpose.

Children at Higher Risk to Faulty Medication

When it comes to medication errors the children are at a greater risk and face more harm to their health than adults due to following reasons.

  • The drugs are generally formulated and concentrated keeping in mind the needs of the adult patients. For pediatric patients the drug dosage is altered to suit the needs of the children and this is where errors creep in.
  • Most of the healthcare settings are designed to handle the adult patients and generally lack the pediatric handling capabilities to address the medical needs of the children,exposing them to risks of drug complications.
  • As the children cannot communicate effectively about the side effects of the drug the medical staff does not get the feedback, which it can get from an adult patient. As a result it becomes difficult to mitigate the side effects due to wrong medication.
  • Lack of proper documentation and communication gap during the change of shift, admission, discharge or transfer of the child patient from one hospital to other is one other major reason of pediatric drug complication.

Employing Joint Commission Strategies

As the harm to the children due to faulty medication is more pronounced, the Joint Commission has several rules in place and at same time suggests newer practices with the sole objective to protect the children from drug complications.

  • The health facility should follow a standardized pediatric drug formulation policy and place stringent quality checks to ensure the right the dosage concentration before it is administered to the patient.
  • The medical staff should be trained to administer oral medicines by oral syringes and thus prevent their administration through venous route.
  • The medics should communicate effectively with parent on how to maintain the same level of drug dosage after discharge of the child from health facility as a part of continued treatment and recovery.
  • To prevent mix up of dosage concentration, the adult drugs should be kept separate from the pediatric preparations. Further wherever possible commercially available pediatric specific formulation should be used.
  • All pediatric patients should be weighed in kilograms and the requisite dosage of the drug should be administered according to the weight.
  • Pediatric experts and pharmacist should be assigned to the child care unit to oversee medication process and at same time guide the medical staff on how to follow the requisite safety standards for pediatric care.
  • High risk medications should be given in minimum required dosage strength and frequency to protect child from associated side effects.
  • The nurses, paramedics and the pharmacist should be well trained in use of specialized pediatric equipments.
  • The Joint Commission requires the health care facilities to employ continuous monitoring of the child under sedation, through pulse oxyimetry to prevent over sedation and its fatal consequences.

In the end the Joint Commission lays stress on building a proper communication channel between the caregiver or parents with the doctors or nurses to ensure that all the information about the medication procedure of the child is well understood by the parents. As a part of extended treatment in the home, the parents should clearly understand the dosage concentration, timing, route of delivery and the side effects associated with drugs. This will ensure that the child is protected from the drug overdose or complication even when he or she is at home, recovering from the illness, after being discharged from the health facility.

Joint Commission regulations protect children from faulty medication.

Jason Gaya

Read more on Joint Commission on,


Joint Commission: Enhancing Patient Safety through Better and Safer Management of Medication.

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

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