The Staggering Costs of Prescription Errors
Part of a patient’s recovery journey is providing them with educational content so they are well-informed about their condition and its treatment. To avoid errors, one key to helping patients maintain better health literacy is to provide them with the right information at the right time about their medications.
Medication errors are a big drain on hospital resources on many fronts. According the National Institutes of Health, medication errors affected more than 7 million patients in 2016, cost $21 billion annually across all care settings, and cause up to 1 million emergency room visits each year. The study reports that approximately 30% of patients have at least one prescription discrepancy at the time of discharge.
A lack of knowledge and information about their prescriptions can cause:
- Increased progression of the disease
- Increased time in the hospital
- Additional doctor and emergency room visits
- Increased costs for hospital, operational costs and labor hours
Medication errors can occur at many points along the patient recovery path: at dispensation, initial prescribing and outpatient care, so it’s critical for patients and their caregivers to be armed with education about what they’ve been prescribed.
Medication Education Helps Patients Avoid Readmission
If a patient has an option to obtain education at a time that fits their schedule and a way to see exactly what has been prescribed, they will have a better recovery period and outcome. Using HCI’s educational content and prescription app, the Rx App, as part of an overall health recovery strategy on their in-room interactive television, they can quickly identify drugs and medications that have been prescribed for them. The Rx App includes images of medications in close-up so they can ensure they have the right medications. Caregivers, such as family members or friends who are assisting them can become partners to ensure medication errors don’t happen. With the Rx Prescription App, patients who acquire additional information on their prescriptions have:
- A full description of their medicines
- Educational videos and informational pictures to identify their correct meds
- Side effects and warnings information
Educational information from our content partners, including Healthwise, Krames, Elsevier and others, or using your own educational library, is integrated for ad hoc delivery and assignment to patients.
Trust, But Verify: Integration Reduces Errors
The Rx Prescription app offers a selection to have patient prescriptions filled automatically at the facility Pharmacy prior to discharge, and a search function so they can search for the name of their medication to get details and confirm that the prescription they received is what was prescribed. Digital educational content available through the Rx App, fed by HCI’s enterprise-wide integration platform, MediaCare, offers an additional safeguard for patients to arm themselves with the right information at the right time by integrating with the EHR, pharmacy and medication library.
Eliminating Common Errors
With the RxApp, common medication errors are significantly reduced, since all prescription information can be entered on the touch-enabled digital whiteboard in the patient’s room or at the Unit Whiteboard at the Nurses’ Station.
By implementing the Rx app, you can:
- Eliminate incorrect interpretation of poor handwriting for EHR or at dispensation
- Ensure correct dosing information provided to patients
- Improve collaborative communication among the Care Team and clinicians
- Establish a standard for entering prescribing
- Monitor supply levels
- Access historical records of prescribed medications, in aggregate or for specific patients
- Reduce task saturation and manual paperwork burdens by directing prescription and refill data directly to the hospital pharmacy for fulfillment and delivery to patients
That’s all win-win for patient safety.
We encourage a conversation so wee can learn your goals for reducing prescription and medication errors. Schedule a virtual demo to learn how we support your patient safety initiatives.