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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 86-87

Ensuring patient safety through reducing medication errors: World Health Organization


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission15-Sep-2019
Date of Decision14-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance26-Nov-2019
Date of Web Publication13-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur–Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpettu District, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_74_19

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  Abstract 

Patient safety refers to the prevention of harm and minimizing the chances of injuries or mistakes in the field of health care delivery. In-fact, the global estimates depict that on an annual basis in excess of 130 million adverse events are reported exclusively in health care settings in developing nations. The careful analysis of the trends has revealed that the issue of medication safety is of utmost importance in three settings, namely high-risk circumstances, consumption of multiple drugs and during the transition of care. The presence of comprehensive policies, better leadership from the managers, skilled team of health workforce, meaningful involvement of patients and strengthened surveillance mechanism to document reports of medication errors, can together reduce the magnitude of the entire problem. In conclusion, the time has come to adopt a multi-sectoral approach involving workforce, patients, policy makers, researchers and health sector to ensure not only patient safety, but even make it as a priority in the current era of health care delivery.

Keywords: Health, medications, patient safety


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Ensuring patient safety through reducing medication errors: World Health Organization. Int J Health Allied Sci 2020;9:86-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Ensuring patient safety through reducing medication errors: World Health Organization. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Mar 28];9:86-7. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2020/9/1/86/275655




  Introduction Top


Patient safety refers to the prevention of harm and minimizing the chances of injuries or mistakes in the field of healthcare delivery.[1] Under ideal circumstances, people who come to avail health care are not in the optimal health state, and thus, they should not be harmed once they reach health centers.[1],[2] Despite that, millions of people are exposed to avoidable harmful conditions or even subjected to the risk of injuries.[1],[2] In fact, the global estimates depict that, on an annual basis, in excess of 130 million adverse events are reported exclusively in healthcare settings in developing nations, which eventually amounts to >2.5 million deaths each year.[1]

Further, it has been reported that 40% of the harmed patients are in either primary or ambulatory healthcare establishments, and the most striking aspect is that eight out of such ten events are avoidable.[1] Careful analysis of the trends has revealed that the issue of medication safety is of utmost importance in three settings, namely highrisk circumstances, polypharmacy, and during the transition of care.[1] Administration of highrisk drugs, provider or patient attributes, or the workplace environment together determine the risk of medication error in highrisk settings, and there is an immense need to formulate and implement sustainable strategies to avoid any error.[1]


  Need for Patient Safety Top


With an increase in life expectancy, simultaneously there is an increase in the number of people developing chronic illnesses.[1] In continuation, these people are administered multiple drugs for the containment of their diseases.[1] However, it becomes really essential to adopt a customized approach to ensure that only right drugs are prescribed to an individual patient, maximizing the overall benefit and simultaneously neutralizing the scope of any harm.[2],[3],[4] There are no doubts that it will predominantly require a responsible approach from the entire team of health professionals in all settings and measures to encourage the safety and quality of prescription.[2],[3] At the same time, it is important to remember that patients are an important cog in the entire process, and they should be thoroughly involved.[4]


  Reducing Medication Errors Top


Moreover, medicationrelated mistakes have been frequently reported during the admission or discharge from a hospital, and this once again requires structured standard operating procedures, coordinated response from the workforce, and good linkage with the patients and family members.[3],[4] Even though it is a reality that in each stage of caregiving, there is some extent of unsafety, the presence of comprehensive policies, better leadership from the managers, skilled team of health workforce, meaningful involvement of patients, and strengthened surveillance mechanism to document reports of medication errors, can together reduce the magnitude of the entire problem.[1],[2],[3],[4] Further, for ensuring better involvement of people and to make them aware, it is high time to involve all the stakeholders in the conduction of awareness campaigns.[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the time has come to adopt a multisectoral approach involving workforce, patients, policymakers, researchers, and the health sector to ensure not only patient safety, but also even make it as a priority in the current era of healthcare delivery.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Medication Safety in Key Action Areas. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/patientsafety/medication-safety/technical-reports/en/. [Last accessed on 2019 Sep 09].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Improving patient safety standards in hospitals: A global public health concern. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:275-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Billings DM. Teaching Nurses to Make Clinical Judgments That Ensure Patient Safety. J Contin Educ Nurs 2019;50:300-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Chegini Z, Arab-Zozani M, Janati A. Patient and health professional perspectives about engaging patients in addressing patient safety: A systematic review protocol. Open Access Maced J Med Sci 2019;7:1561-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. World Patient Safety Day – Campaign essentials. World Health Organization; 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-patient-safety-day/campaign-essentials/. [Last accessed on 2019 Sep 02].  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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