The fundamental purpose of every healthcare organization is to enhance patient quality of life through the provision of superior healthcare to produce the best patient outcomes. In the pre-hospital practice setting of helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) the desire of system leaders and medical staff is to be primarily patient-centered, focused on the safety and wellbeing of patients while at the same time managing the business finances and budget of the organization. Maintaining a healthy environment with safe patient practices is the responsibility of organization administrators, physicians, nurses, paramedics, and all healthcare providers.
One of the primary duties that healthcare providers perform while caring for their patients is the preparation and administration of medications. The significance of accurately preparing and administering medications is fully recognized by practicing nurses and paramedics, and a continual effort to maintain patient safety is, and always will, be central to the philosophy of healthcare professionals. However medication errors continue to be a serious problem threatening the well-being of patients and the success of healthcare systems with potentially increased length of stays, escalated healthcare costs, heightened risks to safety, diminished confidence levels in healthcare providers, and can potentially lead to such devastating consequences as patient harm or death. Information from the report To Err is Human – Building a Safer Health System, The Institute of Medicine (2000), indicates as many as 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors. According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP), (2020) a medication error is any preventable error that may cause or lead to patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional. These errors may be related to medication practices, procedures, and system processes such as prescribing, order communication, product labeling, packaging and nomenclature, dispensing, administration, education, monitoring, and use. The common vision of this council is to prevent any harm to a patient due to a medication error, and their mission is to optimize the safety of medication practices and to raise awareness of medication errors by creating a just culture with open communication, increased self-reporting, and the promotion of medication error prevention strategies (NCC MERP, 2020). The aspiration of that very vision and mission is the aim of this benchmark project. The projected goal of this initiative will be the effective implementation of evidence-based strategies in the Air 1 program to reduce medication administration errors with improved healthcare provider awareness, knowledge levels, and behaviors surrounding medication preparation and administration.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Master's in Nursing
Brown, Shana L., "Medication Error Prevention Strategies" (2020). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 61.