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Why are medication errors common in nursing homes, and how can these errors be reduced?

 

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Why Medication Errors Occur

Unfortunately, medication errors are common in nursing homes and pose serious risks for nursing home residents in Sarasota. There are several reasons why medication mistakes occur including:

  • Elderly nursing home residents take 10 or more medications daily, causing workers to deal with a number of prescriptions.
  • A lot of medications can increase a patient’s risk of drug interactions.
  • The staff isn’t properly trained to correctly administer drugs.
  • Understaffed nursing homes.
  • Handwritten orders are transcribed improperly.
  • Lack of assessment and monitoring for drug reactions.
  • Nursing home facilities don’t have the proper technology.
  • Lack of communication in nursing homes.

How to Reduce the Risk of Medication Errors

In order to combat drug errors in nursing homes, facilities need to focus on medication error prevention. Some ways they could reduce a patient’s risk for suffering a drug error includes:

  • Increased training standards.
  • Continued education for nurses.
  • Perform audits on dispensing and administering medications.
  • Hire more advanced nurses and workers to meet the needs of patients.
  • Use TALL MAN letters to make look-alike medications appear different from each other.
  • Use automated medication dispensing machines.

While nursing homes have a lot they can do to help reduce medication mistakes, families of nursing home residents can also get involved. By frequently visiting your loved one and asking to see your loved one’s medical chart, you may be able to catch an error that the nursing home made with your loved one’s medication. To help reduce drug errors in nursing homes, spread the word by sharing this information on Facebook.