Promoting Patient Safety: Avoiding Medication Errors- Pharmacy Technician

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An estimated 25% of all adverse drug events (ADEs) are preventable (ie, result from medication errors). Although less than 1% of medication errors cause harm, it has been estimated that medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people and result in more than 7,000 deaths in the US every year. Medication errors that occur in the outpatient setting cost the US healthcare system an estimated $4.2 billion annually. And this amount is dwarfed by the estimated cost of medication errors that occur in hospitals – approximately $16.4 billion per year. At least 400,000 preventable ADEs occur in hospitals every year. A medication discrepancy can be defined as any difference between a patient’s prescribed medications and the patient’s actual use of the medications. Both healthcare system factors (eg, faulty medication reconciliation) and patient-related factors (eg, nonadherence) contribute to medication discrepancies. One study of older adults who were discharged from the hospital to home found that 94% had at least 1 discrepancy between their discharge medication lists and actual medication use at home. Improving transitional care for patients being discharged from hospital to home has been consistently linked with lower readmission rates and reduced health care costs. Healthcare team members can play a crucial role in improving patient safety by helping patients avoid medication errors and discrepancies. This article discusses the nature of medication errors and preventable ADEs, and their impact on patient and health-system outcomes. Risks associated with transitions in care, and health information technology (HIT) approaches to improve medication safety, are also presented.

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Course Information

Target Audience

Tech Drug Therapy

Knowledge Level

General Overview

This activity will apply to a broad range of learning needs/pharmacy settings. It may include common disease state/therapy overivews and/or general pharmacy needs such as medication errors, immunizations, or law topics.

Learning Objectives

Course Accreditation

  • Activity Type:
    Knowledge
  • CE Broker
  • Universal Activity Number:
    Pharmacy Technician : 0428-0000-14-015-H05-T
PharmCon is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

PharmCon, Inc. is an approved course provider for continuing education for nurses by the Florida Board of Nursing. PharmCon is also recognized by the California Board of Nursing as a provider of nursing programs.

In order to obtain a Statement of Credit, attendees must answer poll questions where presented and complete a program evaluation. Attendees may immediately print their Statement of Credit or leave them stored on the website.

Technology Requirements

  • Hardware Requirements
    Standard Windows/Mac System
    iPad or iPhone
    Minimum screen resolution: 1024x768
    Speakers or headphones
  • Software Requirements
    Standard Windows/Mac System
    iPad or iPhone
    Minimum screen resolution: 1024x768
    Speakers or headphones
  • Network Requirements
    Broadband Internet Connection:
    T1, Hi-speed DSL or Cable
    4G cellular connection
Computer sharing is NOT permitted due to accreditation guidelines on activity monitoring. Credit is earned by one user per device.