Focus on Safe Medication Practices

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Focus on Safe Medication Practices explains how and why medication errors occur and provides strategies and procedures for both preventing and managing medication incidents. The text includes careful guidelines, prevention strategies, thought-provoking questions, and plenty of case studies. To assist readers in developing and implementing safe medication practices, the book focuses on eight essential goals—becoming aware of the issue; learning the terminology; understanding the scope and frequency of incidents; identifying common types of errors; recognizing medication incident issues within specific specialty areas; identifying potential sources of error; implementing measures to reduce the risk of incidents; and dealing with medication incidents.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Patrick J McDonnell, Pharm.D.(Temple University School of Pharmacy)
Description: This book reviews the basic tenets of medication safety.
Purpose: The purpose is to give users the tools to examine why medication errors occur and how they can be prevented, with the overall objective of improving patient medication safety. With so much attention placed on safe medication use over the past decade, these objectives have moved to the forefront in all areas of medicine. The authors provide a user friendly book to highlight many of these principles.
Audience: The authors note that although the book is written for practicing pharmacists and pharmacy students, it is useful for any healthcare practitioners with an interest on medication safety. The authors are consultant pharmacists, who, as part of their practices, focus on medication safety.
Features: The book is well laid out, starting with basic definitions and principles, moving into error theory and contributory factors to why errors occur. Preventive strategies through failure mode effect analysis and root cause analysis are also highlighted. The book is user friendly and complete with current, up-to-date references.
Assessment: This is a nice introduction for someone who wants to understand the hows and the whys of medication errors. The scope of the problem may prove eye-opening for some readers, but they will also get an understanding of how to prevent such events. Several of the cited references in come from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). A book edited by the president of ISMP, Medication Errors: Causes, Prevention, and Management, Cohen (Jones and Bartlett, 1999) has more depth and detail, but this book is a fine addition to the library of anyone interested in this topic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780781770781
  • Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Defining the Issues

  • Definitions
  • Types of Medication Incidents
  • Studies of Patient Safety
  • The Impact of Adverse Drug Events and Medication Errors
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 2: Why Medication Incidents Occur

  • Error Theory
  • Studies of Contributory Factors
  • Classification of Contributory Factors
  • Immediate or Common Causes of Medication Incidents
  • Root or System Causes of Medication Incidents
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 3: Prevention of Medication Incidents: Risk Management to Improve Patient Safety

  • Elements of Risk Management in Pharmacy
  • System Preventive Strategies
  • General Preventive Strategies for Organizations
  • Preventive Strategies for Pharmacies
  • Personal Preventive Strategies
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 4: Common Causes of Medication Incidents and Preventions Strategies

  • Illegible Handwriting
  • Look-Alike/Sound-Alike Medications
  • Verbal Prescriptions
  • Faxed Prescriptions
  • Missing Information
  • Abbreviations and Symbols
  • Calculation and Decimal Point Errors
  • Drug Device Errors
  • Lack of Patient Education/Understanding
  • Failed Communication with Patients
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 5: Underlying Root Causes and Prevention Strategies

  • Psychological and Human Factors
  • Dispensing Process
  • Manufacturer Issues
  • Reconciliation
  • Pharmacy Workload
  • Environment
  • Organizational Issues
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 6: Causes and Preventions Strategies in Specialty Practices

  • Pediatrics
  • Compounding
  • Nonprescription Medications
  • Immunization
  • Methadone Treatment
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 7: Technological Solutions to Promoting Safe Medication Practices

  • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)
  • E-prescribing
  • Bar Code Technology
  • Radio Frequency Identification
  • Automated Dispensing
  • Other Technologies That Can Reduce Medication Error Rates
  • Limitations of Technology in Medication Error Reduction
  • Automation Case Study
  • Unit-Dose Systems
  • Point-of-Care Medication Administration Systems
  • The Impact of Facilities Design
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 8: Dealing with Medication Incidents in Pharmacy

  • Plan of Action for Handling a Medication Incident
  • Protocol for Handling a Medication Incident
  • Incident Reporting
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Communication of a Medication Incident/Disclosure
  • Staff Issues During a Medication Incident
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Chapter 9: Instituting Safe Medication Practices in Pharmacy

  • Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Failure Mode Effects Analysis
  • Self-Assessment
  • Other Methods for Improving Patient Safety
  • Developing a Patient Safety Plan
  • Barriers to Patient Medication Safety
  • Summary
  • Reflective Questions
  • Appendix A: Organizations Involved in Patient Safety

    Appendix B: Strategies and Tools for Prevention of Specific Types of Problems



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