Medication errors have been a highlighted safety issue targeted by The Joint Commission due to an estimated 7 million patients affected annually with a subsequent cost of $21 billion. Further, about 7,000 Americans die annually due to medication errors. Medication errors occur for several reasons, including. a failure to communicate drug orders, illegible handwriting on the prescription, the wrong selection chosen from a drop-down menu, confusion between medications with similar names or sounds, the appearance of similar packaging between products, or confusion about dosing units or weight. Medication errors usually are not due to the faulty judgment of a single person; instead, they often indicate a flawed system that has inadequate backup to detect mistakes.
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