The national patient safety agency report and the IOM report both highlighted that medication errors cause a large number of deaths each year. These reports recognise that the majority of errors were not a result of reckless behaviour on the part of the healthcare provider, but occurred as a result of the speed and complexity of the medication - use cycle.
Medication errors are the single most preventable cause of patient harm. Medication errors are broadly defined as any error in the prescribing, dispensing or administration of a drug: irrespective of whether it leads to an adverse consequence or not.
Approaches to reducing dispensing errors include:
Ensure a safe dispensing procedure.
Separation of drugs (when stored) with a similar name or appearance.
Keep interruptions in the dispensing procedure to a minimum.
Introducing a safe systematic procedure for dispensing and storing medicines in the pharmacy.
JR Coll Physicians Edinburgh 2007
Additional means of reducing administration risk also includes a safe procedure for administering drugs on the ward. Medstrom offers many solutions to help with safe storage of drugs; safe transport of drugs and therefore safe administration at ward level: minimising the risk of patient harm.