According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the likelihood of a medication error is low. The authors of the study looked at 12 long-term care facilities in 3 states. The results of the study are surprising considering that many long-term care facilities use aides who no formal training in the administration of medication. Among the studies findings are:
- Overall error rate of 28.2%
- Timing errors were the most common (70.8%). The resident did not receive the medication within an hour of the scheduled time.
- Wrong dosage 12.9% of the time
- Skipped dosage 11.1% of the time
- Extra dosage 3.5% of the time
- Unauthorized drug 1.5% of the time
- Wrong drug .2% of the time
None of the timing errors were related to medications where timing is critical to the health of the resident. Medications such as insulin and warfarin must be administered very consistently in order to avoid serious physical injury to the individual.
Once the ‘time’ factor was removed from the study, results show that medication errors were made 8.2% of the time.
Where else would an 8.2% error rate be acceptable? Can you imagine a bank teller with an 8.2% error rate in giving out cash. How long would a bank keep a person like that around?
Read more about medication errors in assisted living facilities here.