The NZF is an independent resource providing healthcare professionals with clinically validated medicines information and guidance on best practice, enabling healthcare professionals to select safe and effective medicines for individual patients. Medication errors may never be completely eliminated, but strategies can be implemented to reduce the likelihood of error occurring. These strategies include reducing dose calculation errors, being extra vigilant with medicines that are commonly associated with error, improving access to specialised prescribing information, improving communication with parents and using error reporting systems. Medication errors may never be completely eliminated, but strategies can be put in place to reduce the likelihood of error occurring. Practitioners are encouraged to identify and respond to signs that an error in prescribing or calculation may have occurred, so that harm can be prevented or reduced. It is also important to recognise circumstances in which errors are more likely to occur, e.g. D or BD (For more information see Safe and Quality Use of Medicines Medication Alert 4, 2007 available from: Medication errors can occur across the entire health sector, including at the interface between healthcare settings (e.g. They involve all routes of administration and all provider groups, and can occur in patients of all ages. care of unfamiliar patients, dealing with unusual or unfamiliar medicines, having an unusually heavy workload. HCT is used for both hydrocortisone and hydrochlorothiazide, O. A medication error has been defined as: “Any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm, while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures and systems including: prescribing, order communication, product labelling, packaging and nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring and use.” Much of what is known about medication errors in children is based on research undertaken in the hospital setting. Medication errors can occur with any medicine, but most commonly occur with frequently prescribed medicines such as paracetamol.
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