|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 119-120
Letter to the editor - Reducing medication errors in telemedicine during the COVID era - need of the hour!
Vinoth Kumar Kalidoss1, Satvinder Singh Bakshi2
1 Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS Mangalagiri, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, AIIMS Mangalagiri, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Date of Submission||05-Jun-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||27-Aug-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||25-Jan-2021|
Satvinder Singh Bakshi
Department of ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, AIIMS, Mangalagiri, Guntur - 522 503, Andhra Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Kalidoss VK, Bakshi SS. Letter to the editor - Reducing medication errors in telemedicine during the COVID era - need of the hour!. J Med Soc 2020;34:119-20
|How to cite this URL:|
Kalidoss VK, Bakshi SS. Letter to the editor - Reducing medication errors in telemedicine during the COVID era - need of the hour!. J Med Soc [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Mar 5];34:119-20. Available from: https://www.jmedsoc.org/text.asp?2020/34/2/119/307903
“A medication error is 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 labeling, packaging, and nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use.” It is the leading cause for avoidable harm in the health-care systems globally. The economic cost medication error is estimated at $42 billion USD annually over and above this is the increasing number of lives lost due to prescription errors., Although telemedicine has been found to be effective in reducing medical errors, the risk still exists. We attempt to offer some solutions for the same.
We suggest the use of the 5 Right checklists which comprises of “Right patient; Right drug; Right dose; Right route; and Right duration.” This checklist can be used every time a prescription is given and although not completely ideal; will go a long way in reducing medication errors.
In addition, software can be incorporated in the existing telemedicine which will give warning when drugs which interact are prescribed or when inappropriate route or dose of the medicine is prescribed. This can be further expanded to include special population such as pregnant women, lactating mothers, children, and renal or liver failure patients. The prescriptions in them can be strictly monitored by the software and appropriate warning can be given.
Besides this, environment changes should be also looked into, for example, noisy and busy working environments can be distracting and these should be avoided while practicing telemedicine.
Prescribing and dispensing medicines should be the subject of audit and clinical review by health-care professionals. This will go a long way in identifying and preventing medical errors. An important step in this regard would require developing a medication error reporting and surveillance system, which can be integrated in the existing IT system. We conclude by saying that medication errors are an important cause for avoidable harm and measures to reduce the same should be universally adopted.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
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