Why reducing medication errors is a shared responsibility
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Why reducing medication errors is a shared responsibility

Media reports like the recent case of a paediatric overdose of reflux medication are a stark reminder of the potentially harmful consequences and human cost of medication errors. So, what can we do to reduce medication mistakes and improve accuracy?

Healthcare professionals have long been aware that medication errors can occur at any point in a patient’s care journey. Aside from potentially devastating clinical outcomes, the financial implications are daunting. In fact, it has been estimated that 190,000 medication-related hospital admissions occur per year in Australia, with estimated costs of at least $660 million.1

As medication-related hospital admissions remain a significant problem in the Australian healthcare system, and with burdening pressures placed on healthcare professionals, the industry is now turning to technology as a fresh solution.

landmark 2015 study by Johanna Westbrook and her team at the Australian Institute of Health2 Innovation focused on the cost-effectiveness of electronic medication management systems (eMM) within a hospital environment. The study found that significant cost savings could be driven largely by the effectiveness of eMM platforms reducing medication errors.

Quality medicines information is the foundation of any healthcare system and technology clearly has a vital role to play in helping to address this problem. At MedicalDirector, we know first-hand that effective clinical management relies on a combination of robust technology frameworks and quality, up to date medicines information. That’s why our team of pharmacy editors and database architects understand what it takes to consistently deliver accurate drug data and information, not only to our referential platform, AusDI, but also to our flagship electronic medical record systems (eMR) MedicalDirector Clinical and MedicalDirector Helix.

By leveraging the right technology solution, you can do that one more thing to reduce the likelihood of a medication error occurring and ensure more patients receive better and more accurate healthcare.

1Semple SJ, Roughhead EE (2009) Australia and New Zealand Health Policy, 6:18
2Westbrook JI, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2015;0:1–12