Just what the doctor ordered – how technology can reduce medication errors

Almost everyone has taken medication to prevent or treat an illness at some point in their life. However, according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2017 publication ‘Medication Without Harm’, unsafe medical practises are a leading cause of harm in healthcare systems across the world. Globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at US$ 42 billion annually, with individuals living in low-income countries twice as likely to experience medication errors. Often, these errors are the result of human factors such as staff shortages, fatigue or a lack of knowledge concerning administration.

A solution is in sight however, as technology has already reduced the occurrence of medication errors. For example, computerised ordering systems and automatic dispensing services ensure that prescriptions are matched with a patient’s medical records, preventing the distribution of incorrect medicine. Although, many clinicians have argued that technology is not being used enough to prevent medication errors, and that the technologies already implemented do not highlight their direct impact on patient safety.

This is where Eva comes in. Informed by many hours of patient safety investigations, Eva is an intuitive software programme designed to highlight the causes of patient safety incidents, by guiding investigators through each step of the investigation process. In this case, the causes of patient safety incidents may include incorrect dosages or poor communication between practitioner and patient. By uncovering the root causes of patient harm, and bringing information about them into one place, Eva can help healthcare providers mitigate against future incidents.

After all, they say that prevention is better than the cure.

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