MEDICATION ERRORS

Medication errors are defined as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”1

Medication errors are one of the most common errors made in healthcare.  Although nurses intercept 50% to 86% of medication errors before reaching the patient, it is estimated that every inpatient has encountered one medication error each day while in the hospital.2,3 

It is estimated that medication errors kill and injure millions of people around the world every year. 4  The annual cost of these errors are estimated to be $42 billion. 4

Resources

  1. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/MedicationErrors/default.htm
  2. https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ant5-CE-421.pdf
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/leahbinder/2013/09/03/the-shocking-truth-about-medication-errors/#21cd028110ab
  4. http://asq.org/qualitynews/qnt/execute/displaySetup?newsID=22906

 

US:

  • It accounts for one third of preventable drug-related harm and is the eighth leading cause of death in the US with more than 98,000 mortality annually, exceeded those from car accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS1
  • Approximate cost in the US is USD$17-$29 billion per annum1

Europe/UK:

  • estimated annual cost between €4.5 billion and €21.8 billion2
  • estimated that 237 million medication errors occur at some point in the medication process in England per year3
    • estimated that 66 million potentially clinically significant errors occur per year
  • NHS costs of definitely avoidable ADRs are £98.5 million per year, consuming 181,626 bed-days, causing 712 deaths, and contributing to 1,708 deaths3

Australia:

  • annual cost of medication-related admissions is AU$1.2 billion4
  • medication hospital admission rate in Australia of 230 000 annually4

Canada:

  • Roughly 30,000 cases with 1,900 deaths5
  • Annual cost of roughly $125 Million5

Resources

  1. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0136545
  2. http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2013/03/news_detail_001729.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1
  3. http://www.eepru.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/eepru-report-medication-error-feb-2018.pdf
  4. https://journals.lww.com/ijebh/Fulltext/2016/09000/The_extent_of_medication_errors_and_adverse_drug.3.aspx
  5. http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/About/Documents/The%20Case%20for%20Investing%20in%20Patient%20Safety.pdf

 

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