Drug safety or medication safety is the practice of providing essential information on drug safety and regulations including recognizing, monitoring, reporting, and cataloging serious adverse drug reactions.
Safety monitoring of medicines is a continuous process, it is performed during clinical trials when medicines are developed, once medicines are launched (also called ‘licensed’), and throughout the entire period where medicine is available for patients to use. Medicines are often taken by large numbers of people and side effects that are rare can sometimes only be detected once a medicine has been marketed. Individual patients and healthcare professionals are encouraged to report any side effects they experience.
Medication safety plays a critical role in patient safety, so it’s imperative hospitals know which common errors to avoid.
Here are the top 10 medication safety concerns from 2021, according to a report released Jan. 27 by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices.
- Mix-ups between the pediatric and adult formulations of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
- Mix-ups between COVID-19 vaccines or boosters and flu vaccines
- Administration of Epinephrine instead of a COVID-19 vaccine
- Dilution errors for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
- Errors and delays with hypertonic sodium chloride
- Errors with discontinued or paused infusions
- Infection transmission from shared glucometers, fingerstick devices and insulin pens
- Adverse glycemic event errors
- Absence of a medication safety officer at some organizations
- Reluctance to report errors.