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The Rx Consultant

Medication Safety Update: Preventing Errors and Adverse Drug Reactions - Florida Board Approved

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Overview / Abstract:

The “Oath of a Pharmacist” that is recited at pharmacy school graduations emphasizes the importance of medication safety in the profession. The passage says, “I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.” Despite these efforts, preventable adverse events related to medications do occur, and all health care professionals can play an integral role in reducing them. Health care professionals need a broad understanding
of the issues surrounding medication errors and adverse drug events (ADEs) in order to improve patient safety. Medication errors can occur at any step from prescribing to dispensing a medication, as well as during administration by a patient or caregiver. An ADE occurs when a patient experiences harm from a medication.2 Medication errors that reach patients and cause any amount of harm are termed preventable ADEs.

In 2018, 59 new drugs were approved – the greatest number of approvals in over 20 years. Staying abreast of medication information is a daunting task; however, it is an essential part of preventing medication-related problems. An interdisciplinary approach involving physicians, pharmacists, nurses, patients, and other care providers is key to promoting medication safety in the outpatient setting.

An estimated 4.5 million ambulatory visits to healthcare facilities occur each year as a result of ADEs.5 As expected, older patients (≥ 65 years) and individuals taking 6 to 8 medications each day are at greatest risk. Polypharmacy clearly contributes to medication problems, and almost one-third of US adults take 5 or more medications daily...


Aug 22, 2022


Pharmacy CPE





Credits / Hours




Presenters / Authors / Faculty

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh is a medical writer
in South Florida who specializes in drug information, medication safety, vaccines, and legal and regulatory issues. She completed a Drug Information residency and is also certified as a Consultant Pharmacist.

Activity Specialities / Related Topics

Errors (Medication), Medication Safety

Keywords / Search Terms

Continuing Education Network Inc. Medication Safety, medication errors, adverse drug reactions, adverse drug events, medication problems, National Poison Database

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