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Reducing medication errors in critical care: a multimodal approach

Authors Kruer R, Jarrell A, Latif A

Received 29 March 2014

Accepted for publication 27 June 2014

Published 1 September 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 117—126

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CPAA.S48530

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Video abstract presented by Andrew S Jarrell

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Rachel M Kruer,1 Andrew S Jarrell,1 Asad Latif2,3

1Department of Pharmacy, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: The Institute of Medicine has reported that medication errors are the single most common type of error in health care, representing 19% of all adverse events, while accounting for over 7,000 deaths annually. The frequency of medication errors in adult intensive care units can be as high as 947 per 1,000 patient-days, with a median of 105.9 per 1,000 patient-days. The formulation of drugs is a potential contributor to medication errors. Challenges related to drug formulation are specific to the various routes of medication administration, though errors associated with medication appearance and labeling occur among all drug formulations and routes of administration. Addressing these multifaceted challenges requires a multimodal approach. Changes in technology, training, systems, and safety culture are all strategies to potentially reduce medication errors related to drug formulation in the intensive care unit.

Keywords: medication safety, drug design, drug formulation, patient safety

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