About Medication Errors

Table of Contents

Health Problem Description

Medication errors constitute some of the most frequently occurring and serious problems that plague the existing world health system. A medication error occurs when a doctor or a nurse inspecting the patient interprets the results of the ongoing medical investigation in a wrong way or makes a decision based on incomplete data, resulting in wrong drugs being assigned to the patient. At best, the wrong medication does not harm the patient while having a reduced or no effect on the disease. At worst, the drug causes a reaction that could be potentially dangerous to the person in question. According to Schmidt et al. (2017), medical errors are very frequent, resulting in roughly 1 error per patient per day, while the potential for being life-threatening is at 35%. In most cases, the errors are associated with the human factor – healthcare workers are humans and thus are prone to error from time to time. The aim of potential interventions to reduce the number of medical errors is through the increasing of the levels of education, provision of instruments to make more precise diagnoses, and engaging in interdisciplinary efforts to reduce the chances of wrong medications being assigned to the patient.

Literature Review

Human error is identified as one of the primary causes of medication errors. However, the factors that contribute to human error are many. An article by Cohen (2016) found that some of the major factors contributing to human error are a combination of lacking time, tiredness, and poor medication labeling. Many drugs try to save space by putting the names of drugs in tiny letters, making them harder to differentiate between one another (Cohen, 2016). As a result, nurses that are tasked with medicating patients are more likely to commit an error. Patients that take medication at home are also exposed to such errors, especially when they have to take multiple drugs during the day.

The lack of awareness of one’s fallibility is another factor that contributes to medication errors. It has a direct connection with the quality of education being provided to students. Latimer et al. (2017) report that the lack of critical thinking and a systematic way to double-check one’s actions and decisions during medication assignment and administration is one of the reasons for medication errors in hospitals. Latimer et al. (2017) also state that teaching nurse students to be aware of their errors and providing a systematic framework of decision-making has the potential to drastically reduce the chances of medication errors occurring.

Finally, the research by Schmidt et al. (2017) suggested that medication errors were the result of an improper organizational culture within the hospitals. Their research produced an intervention that focused on introducing a system that sought to eliminate nurse medication errors through the use of extensive medical records, a system of double-checking the medication, and rewards/punishments for failing to report, record and adhere to the system (Schmidt et al., 2017). As a result, the number of incorrect medication administrations was reduced by 22%, suggesting that the hospital in question did not implement enough rigor in medication treatments (Schmidt et al., 2017).

Healthcare Problem Analysis

As evidenced in the articles above, medication errors have a myriad of factors contributing to them, ranging from nurse understaffing and overstress, to a lack of education, poor rigor of practice, and various instrumental and efficiency-based issues. Thus, it is a complex problem that requires a multimodal approach affecting more than a single factor among those outlined. The majority of medication errors occur in a hospital setting rather than at home, meaning that the context has more to do with nurses rather than patients (Latimer, 2017).

The importance of the problem to me as a nurse is significant, as it is one of the most likely issues, I might find myself involved in. At the same time, the dangers of poor medications cannot be overstated. Therefore, the problem is both frequent and potentially dangerous, requiring immediate and far-reaching interventions to handle (Schmidt, 2017). No nurse or a doctor wants to be the cause of the patient’s illness as a result of wrong medications. It contradicts the basic premise of healthcare and nursing, which is to not harm. Thus, reducing the number of errors with medications is congruent with the overarching purposes and philosophy of nursing as well as my own goals and beliefs.

The people affected by the issue are on all stakeholder levels, including the patients, the nurses, the community, and the overarching government. Patients are the ones whose lives and health are endangered by wrong medications. Nurses and the hospital system, in general, receive additional strain from having to make up for the consequences of medication errors, including rehospitalization, lawsuits, and so forth. The community is damaged by the effects of wrong drugs being implemented, as patients and their families suffer the physical, financial, and emotional consequences of such. Finally, governments have to find ways to regulate the relationships between patients and nurses on a legal level, shoulder the burdens of increased healthcare costs, and deal with the decreasing trust of patients in the existing system.

Potential Solutions

The potential solutions to the problem would include educational interventions (Latimer et al., 2017), organizational changes (Schmidt et al., 2017), and improving the quality of life in nurses, resulting in them becoming more awake, aware, and motivated to do their jobs properly (Cohen, 2016). Each of these solutions requires a specific set of resources, including human, material, informational, and financial resources. Quality of life improvements may overlap with organizational ones, as some of the strongest solutions include the introduction of relief classes and better schedules, which would require more nurses to be available for work as well as additional payments associated with them. Educational interventions would involve increasing awareness about the problem, providing working analysis frameworks to be implemented, and additional oversight.

Ignoring the issue, according to Schmidt (2017) would lead to the eventual increase in severe health consequences in patients. Chances of rehospitalization and patient fatalities would increase as well. Hospitals will lose time, money, and employees to deal with these consequences (Cohen, 2016). The overall trust in the medical system would decline, resulting in patients trying to treat themselves, which would result in even more severe outcomes than before (Cohen, 2016). A chain reaction would occur, with other medical issues being exacerbated by letting things continue as they are now. The US government is already investing trillions of dollars into healthcare, and the reason many are demanding cuts is because of the inherent inefficiencies present right now, which nothing is being done about.

The proposed solution is an educational intervention aimed at both nurses and patients, to have both engage in a thoughtful process of controlling the medication administration process. While the patient cannot fully participate in prescribing drugs due to a lack of specialized education and experience, they can actively involve themselves in checking what drugs the nurse is bringing them. The nurses, on the other hand, can engage in self-motivation and self-control to improve the quality of their medication administration.

Ethical Implications

From an ethical point of view, the study has very few negative implications. Educational interventions largely provide information to the recipients and let them act on their own accord, leaving very little room for ambiguous situations (Artal & Rubenfeld, 2017). Providing individuals with information does not require collecting their data or exposing it to various privacy implications associated with surveys and interviews, for example (Artal & Rubenfeld, 2017). However, there are a few negative ethical implications to consider, still.

The primary issue is associated with the correctness of the provided information. If the researchers do not verify and critically examine the information they use if they do not provide evidence of the reliability of their methods, they have the potential of causing harm to patients as well as the hospital system, not to mention wasting valuable time and money (Iphofen, 2020). Therefore, the primary ethical responsibility is to ensure the validity and reliability of the information and instruments used. To successfully conduct the proposed intervention, some of the following implements will be required:

  • Financial resources – to support the research team and to purchase materials when necessary;
  • Material resources – computers, pamphlets, research materials;
  • Human resources – to conduct the education of nurses;
  • Time resources – estimated time is 3-6 months.


Artal, R., & Rubenfeld, S. (2017). Ethical issues in research. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 43, 107-114.

Cohen, M. (2016). . Nursing, 46(2).

Iphofen, R. (2020). Ethical Issues in Research Methods: Introduction. Handbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity, 371-379.

Latimer, S., Hewitt, J., Stanbrough, R., & McAndrew, R. (2017). . Nurse Education Today, 52, 7–9.

Schmidt, K., Taylor, A., & Pearson, A. (2017). . Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 32(2), 150–156.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Online Academic Experts
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Very fast response and did a excellent job.
Customer 453201, May 31st, 2022
thank you!
Customer 452947, October 21st, 2021
Social Sciences
Very fast report with excellent information on the topic. Thank you for your speedy service in such a short time.
Customer 453213, June 15th, 2022
Thank you
Customer 453087, March 5th, 2022
The writer was timely and proficient. I had to ask for a revision, but I got it back quickly with no other issues. Would use this essay writing service again
Customer 452441, November 14th, 2021
English 101
great summery in terms of the time given. it lacks a bit of clarity but otherwise perfect.
Customer 452747, June 9th, 2021
Impressive writing
Customer 452547, February 6th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
Always great! My son has been in critical health these last few semesters. Many times I have thought he wasn't going to make it and thought about quitting or postponing school until he was healthier but it always happens to be in the middle of the semester. This service has been a lifesaver for my mindset in helping keep my grades up and keep my son alive at the same time. I don't know if I could have made it through this period without it.
Customer 453077, June 6th, 2022
Business Studies
Paper is great. Just only needed the one reference. Thank you
Customer 453139, May 4th, 2022
Received before the deadline. Great job!
Customer 453027, January 15th, 2022
Business Management
Awesome job, Thank you
Customer 453201, June 12th, 2022
Thank you. No issues
Customer 453139, April 17th, 2022
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Live ChatWhatsApp