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Evidence-Based Practice for Preventing Medication Errors


Despite numerous attempts at addressing the issue, medication mistakes remain one of the most topical issues on the current healthcare agenda (Cohen, 2015). Although the introduction of the human factor does not allow eliminating the possibility of a medical mistake completely, the incorporation of the principles of evidence-based practice (EBP) in the healthcare setting is likely to reduce the risks to a considerable extent (Morgon, 2014).

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In order to locate the effects of EBP as the tool for reducing the number of medication errors in the healthcare environment, one will have to consider the issues such as the patient’s safety, the idea of corporate social responsibility, the enhancement of personal responsibility, possible redesign of the leadership approach (i.e., the shift towards transformational leadership), etc.

EBP as the Tool for Reducing the Number of Medical Errors

Being a comparatively recent addition to the healthcare setting, EBP has already proven to be extraordinarily efficient in managing some of the crucial domains of the area in question (Cohen, 2015). Therefore, it is assumed that it will also help restructure the realm of pharmacology, thus, promoting a more coherent process of medicine provision and reducing the threat of medication errors to the minimum.

Additionally, the incorporation of EBP in the pharmacology setting is bound to trigger an enhancement of corporate social responsibility among the staff (Morgon, 2014). Defined as a “process that involves and allows better visualization of flows and challenges working habits and production with an optimization goal” (Morgon, 2014, p. 153), CSR affects the organizational processes within the environment of a particular healthcare setting on a very deep level, thus, allowing a rearrangement of the staff’s vision of their roles and duties. As a result, employees are likely to assume their responsibilities faster and perform their key functions in a more diligent manner. Thus, the number of errors in the healthcare setting will most likely drop.

In other words, the introduction of EBP into the healthcare setting will help promote sustainability. The latter, in its turn, being the “progression toward a functional awareness that all things are connected” (Guenther & Vittori, 2008, p. 133), creates the background for the promotion of new ethical values among the staff members. As a result, the development of new principles of organizational behavior based on the ideas of virtue ethics (Guenther & Vittori, 2008) can be carried out. Seeing that virtue ethics enhances the development of the qualities such as responsibility, it will help promote the required diligence in carrying out the key procedures, such as the provision of medicine to the patients in a timely manner, careful compliance with the existing schedule, etc.

Another impetus for incorporating the principles of EBP into the pharmacological management setting as a tool for preventing medication errors, the fact that EBP helps create equity (Barling, 2014) deserves to be mentioned. To be more exact, when incorporated into the general technique for managing the provision of medicine to the patients, EBP serves as the means of tending to the needs of all patients with the same passion without disregarding the needs of any of the people in need for pharmacological services. As a result, pharmacists will be obliged to carry out regular checks of the medicine that they provide, regarding both regular medications and the ones requiring prescriptions.

EBP serves as the basis for the staff members to develop a responsible attitude towards the subject matter. Moreover, EBP can be viewed as a tool for building a strong leadership strategy on and, therefore, redefining the staff’s attitude towards the very concept of subordination and distribution of responsibilities among the staff. The key pharmacological processes, thus, can be conduct with more responsibility and with better timing; in other words, the possibility of the corresponding mistakes will be reduced to its minimum. Particularly, the idea of introducing the concept of transformational leadership into the pharmacology environment and, thus, setting the stage for the enhancement of the staff’s motivation for excelling in their work (Barling, 2014), can be considered a possibility.

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The significance of EBP for addressing the issue of medical errors can hardly be underrated, as the specified approach creates premises for a detailed analysis of the problems that are typical for a specific environment and, therefore, improve the design thereof so that the risk of medical errors could be reduced.

Additionally, the approach in question can be viewed as a perfect tool for introducing the staff to the concept of CSR. Consequently, the performance of the staff and the management of medicine provision processes can be enhanced significantly. Although the use of EBP cannot be viewed as a guaranteed way to avoid medical errors in the healthcare setting, it should still be viewed as one of the most efficient tools for enhancing order and responsibility among the members of the corresponding facilities. Therefore, EBP must be introduced in the specified setting as the key means of managing the issue and prevent further medication errors from occurring.

Reference List

Barling, J. (2014). The science of leadership: Lessons from research for organizational leaders. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Cohen, (2015). Medication errors. Nursing, 45(10), 72.

Guenther & Vittori, (2008). Sustainable healthcare architecture. New York City, New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Morgon, P A. (2014). Sustainable development for the healthcare industry: Reprogramming the healthcare value chain. New York City, New York: Springer.

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