In 1999, medication errors became front page news with the release of a compelling report by the Institute of Medicine. The report found that errors involving prescription medications kill up to 7,000 Americans a year. The national spotlight triggered closer scrutiny of how errors occur, what causes them and how they can be avoided.
As a result, Randolph Hospital made fundamental changes in the way medications are ordered, stored, dispensed and administered. One of the safety measures being used is a standardized process to correctly identify patients. Multiple checks are used to ensure that the right medication is being delivered in the right dose at the right time for the right patient.
In addition, a team of nurses, pharmacists, physicians, technicians and information technology staff developed safe procedures to separate, label and identify medications that have look-alike or sound-alike names. Also the elimination of confusing abbreviations continues to be a hospital-wide initiative.
Randolph Hospital continues to focus on medication safety and is working to ensure that each time a patient enters the hospital or changes a level of care, an accurate and current medication history is obtained and reviewed by the patient's nurse, pharmacist and physician.
It is important to bring a current list of all medications - name, dose and time taken any time someone comes to the hospital. You can print a form recommended by The Joint Commission by clicking here.