The alarming reality of medication error: a patient case and review of Pennsylvania and National data
Journal of community hospital internal medicine perspectives
CASE DESCRIPTION: A 71-year-old female accidentally received thiothixene (Navane), an antipsychotic, instead of her anti-hypertensive medication amlodipine (Norvasc) for 3 months. She sustained physical and psychological harm including ambulatory dysfunction, tremors, mood swings, and personality changes. Despite the many opportunities for intervention, multiple health care providers overlooked her symptoms. DISCUSSION: Errors occurred at multiple care levels, including prescribing, initial pharmacy dispensation, hospitalization, and subsequent outpatient follow-up. This exemplifies the Swiss Cheese Model of how errors can occur within a system. Adverse drug events (ADEs) account for more than 3.5 million physician office visits and 1 million emergency department visits each year. It is believed that preventable medication errors impact more than 7 million patients and cost almost $21 billion annually across all care settings. About 30% of hospitalized patients have at least one discrepancy on discharge medication reconciliation. Medication errors and ADEs are an underreported burden that adversely affects patients, providers, and the economy. CONCLUSION: Medication reconciliation including an 'indication review' for each prescription is an important aspect of patient safety. The decreasing frequency of pill bottle reviews, suboptimal patient education, and poor communication between healthcare providers are factors that threaten patient safety. Medication error and ADEs cost billions of health care dollars and are detrimental to the provider-patient relationship.
da Silva, Brianna A. and Krishnamurthy, Mahesh, "The alarming reality of medication error: a patient case and review of Pennsylvania and National data" (2016). Center for Primary Care & Community Health Research @SLUHN Articles & Publications. 26.