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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


OTERO LOPEZ, María José. Medication Errors and Risk Management. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.77, n.5, pp.527-540. ISSN 2173-9110.

Healthcare risks in general, and those related to medication errors in particular, constitute a serious problem with consequent human, medical, and economic repercussions which healthcare authorities are recognizing and addressing as priority matters in some countries. However, though the magnitude of the problem is similar in Spain, this country has yet to become fully aware of the transcendence of the situation. Risk management activities in healthcare centers are presently evolving as risk managers adopt preventive and proactive approaches requiring the collaboration of other healthcare professionals in developing risk reduction programs, including those focused on medication error prevention. This article briefly describes the principal bases for safety improvement strategies, and outlines a risk management program for medication error prevention in hospitals. In short, it is assumed that risk managers form part of a team whose job it is to analyze incidents when they occur, use this information to establish actions for improving healthcare services through risk reduction, and ensure that the principles of risk management form an integral part in the activities and the culture of organizations. The final result of risk management is the establish ment and maintenance of significant system changes which enhance the quality of healthcare services and achieve greater patient safety.

Keywords : Medication errors; Risk Management; Adverse effects; Medication Systems; Hospitals.

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