Last week Jeremy Hunt, the UK Health Secretary voiced his concern on the 22,000 Recorded Deaths each year linked to medication errors. The research study compiled by The University of Manchester, University of York and the University of Leeds reported error rates in Primary Care, Care Homes and Secondary Care at different stages of the medication process.

Six studies carried out at various Care Homes in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were included.

The data found shows that compared to primary and secondary care, although care homes cover less patients they have the highest error rates per patient which leads to a disproportionately high number of errors. The percentage of errors occurring at each stage of the medicines use process for Care Homes is: 3.0% prescribing, 3.6% dispensing, 92.8% administration, and 0.6% monitoring. One study measuring medication errors found that 22.3% of medication errors were at the point of administration.

The results of the study estimated the number of errors per year in care homes is over 98 million, of which just over 10 million fall into the moderate or severe harm category. Whilst some medication errors are down to residents receiving incorrectly prescribed medicine by the GP, something that Care Staff have no control over. However, reducing and hopefully eradicating administration errors which could lead to potential harm and hospital admission for a resident is a relatively easy task with the right tools.

Currently in the UK a very small percentage (around 3-4%) of Care Homes are using an electronic system, compared to the US and Australia where legislation has been introduced to make it compulsory.

We understand that the use of paper MAR charts leaves huge potential for human error. However, by putting the right solution in place these are reduced dramatically. With an Electronic Medication Management Solution you can be assured that the correct resident is receiving the correct medication at the correct time.

A good eMAR solution will ensure that inventory is constantly tracked, orders are made directly to the pharmacy on time and that medications are disposed of and recorded in accordance with NICE guidelines. However, the National Care Forum have identified that Care Staff will only adopt such a system if it is easy to use.

That’s the reason we build our products around Three Core Principles; Simplicity, Transparency and Safety. A large proportion of our workforce come from social care background with in-depth knowledge of the sector, ensuring that Care Staff and Home Managers are put at the centre of everything we do. See for yourself! Click here to book a demo of our iCareMeds Software.

Click here to go through to the article published by the Guardian or click here to see the full report.

To read more articles on Medication Management see the links below: