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KPI of the Day – Healthcare: % Medication error rate

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Definition

Measures the percentage of errors in the process of dispensing or administering medication to patients, by professionals from the medical industry, out of the total medication prescribed.

Purpose

To indicate the probability of adverse events due to medication errors, as this can have major negative effects on patient health, but also reputational and financial ones for the hospital and its staff.

Regular measurement and effective reporting systems encourage safe practices through determining and reducing the causes of such errors. Examining and evaluating medication errors can lead to generating strategies for error prevention.

Recommendations

Developments in modern clinical medication have resulted in plenty of dramatic health recoveries, but concurrently, prescription medicine is becoming more and more risky to write, due to the increasing variety of existing medicines.

A few factors associated with medication errors may stem from poor communication, drug name confusion, lack of staff knowledge, misinterpreted handwriting and incorrect dosing. Several tips on successfully driving decreases in % Medication errors include:

  • Educating healthcare providers;
  • Implementing a risk assessment process which helps identify risk factors;
  • Double-checking medication orders;
  • Using medical administration records;
  • Educating the patient during medication rounds;
  • Using automated systems for order entries;
  • Allocating sufficient time for treating each patient;
  • Confronting and openly disclosing these errors as soon as they are discovered.
If you are interested in more Healthcare related KPIs, smartKPIs.com subscriptions provide access to +1,500 KPI examples. Our dedicated Library contains relevant resources to improve your KPI practices, and if you want to further improve your knowledge, feel free to explore our latest healthcare publication – Top 25 Healthcare KPIs – 2016 Extended Edition.

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