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Common medication errors in the acute care sector

posted on 2023-10-26, 04:18 authored by S Koch, H Forbes, Premjitra Wong
While the focus of this chapter is on common medication errors in the acute care sector, medication management errors present a problem in any setting, not just hospitals. Dollars spent on counteracting adverse drug events are dollars unavailable for other purposes. But not all the costs can be directly measured. Errors are also costly in terms of loss of trust in the system by patients and diminished satisfaction by both patients and health professionals. Patients who experience a longer hospital stay or disability as a result of medication errors pay with physical and psychological discomfort. Health care professionals pay with loss of morale and frustration at not being able to provide the best care possible. Older patients are more likely to experience preventable adverse events during hospitalization than younger patients. Thomas and Brennan (Br Med J 320: 741-744, 2000) argue that this is most likely to be due to the complexity of their clinical care. Their US-based study of 15,000 patient records was aimed at determining the incidence and types of adverse events experienced by older patients. One relevant finding was that 64% of patients aged over 65 years experienced a preventable adverse drug event.


Chapter number



43 - 52





Publication classification

BN.1 Other book chapter, or book chapter not attributed to Deakin

Copyright notice

2010, Springer Science+Business media