Update on Medication Errors and Adverse Drug Events-Florida Board-Approved Edition

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Medication errors have been identified as the most common type of medical error. The FDA estimates that medication errors occur in about 1.3 million people annually and result in at least one death every day in the US. In the hospital setting, adverse drug events (ADEs) occur in nearly 5% of patients; preventable ADEs are one of the most common types of inpatient errors. In the outpatient setting, ADEs account for more than 3.5 million physician office visits, 1 million emergency department (ED) visits, and 125,000 hospital admissions annually. It is estimated that nearly half of these ADEs are preventable. Given the impact of medication errors and ADEs on healthcare utilization and costs in the US, error prevention practices remain key for both prescribers and pharmacists. Because pharmaceutical care involves the identification, resolution, and prevention of drug therapy problems and medication errors, pharmacy personnel, as well as prescribers and patients, have a key role in error prevention.

This issue provides background information on medication errors and ADEs, and discusses medication error identification and prevention…

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