Medication errors are a common cause of harm to patients in acute care settings and can include prescribing, preparation, dispensing and administration mistakes. These errors can lead to no harm, may be minor or range to major errors which can result in morbidity, mortality and poor quality of life for the patient, lack of efficacy of medication, suboptimal patient adherence and poor patient experience. In turn, these may have significant health and economic consequences, including the increased use of health services, preventable medication-related hospital admissions. High workloads and lack of health care personnel contribute to 23% of medication errors.
Despite the lack of European data, there is a high variability across the 27 Member States in terms of risk of suffering one medication error in acute care settings. Significant imbalances in terms of health care professionals quality and quantity (in particular pharmacy and nursing profession) and IT infrastructure are the main drivers of variability.
If any type of error occurs and reaches the patient, the harm incurred is considered preventable.
The European Collaborative Action on Medication Errors and Traceability (ECAMET) is a patient safety initiative developed by a group of health professionals and stakeholders. They are working together to tackle the issue of medication errors through the implementation of a Pan-European survey which will act as a catalyst to identify best practices and thus stimulate innovation in the hospital setting via proven digital processes and internal dynamic behavioural changes.
The ECAMET Alliance includes patient safety groups, scientific organisations as well as health care professionals who can have a direct impact on supporting solutions, such as hospital pharmacists and IT managers.
The Alliance is firmly resolved to significantly reduce medication errors and promote, at European and national levels, the implementation of comprehensive electronic traceability systems in the hospital setting, being a vigilant body to support European and national initiatives aimed at protecting and promoting patient safety in the EU.
Tell your community about the importance of making patient safety a priority in the EU health policy scene. Please reach out to EAASM Director Mike.Isles@eaasm.eu