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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: 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.