The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Danielle Black-Smith Walden University NURS 6521 – Advanced Pharmacology March 10 th , 2019 1
The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Introduction The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer” ( [email protected] , 2015). This includes, but is not limited to, events within the professional practice that may be related to inappropriate prescribing, administering, or dispensing of medications. Medication errors have become a very common and preventable issue within the healthcare setting. According to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 1999 report entitled, “To Err Is Human”: Building a Safer Health System”, medication errors were found to be the related cause of a large number of adverse events or unintended outcomes (White, 2011). As a healthcare professional, it is of vital importance to take the necessary steps to ensure that medication errors are avoided at all costs in order to retain the safety and trust of the patient. This paper will examine a scenario where an advanced nurse practitioner has unintentionally prescribed the wrong medication to a patient. Although the patient is unaware of this, the ANP must decide whether or not to disclose this error. Furthermore, an explanation of both ethical and legal implications of medication error disclosure and nondisclosure will be discussed, along with the proposed strategies utilized to minimize these such errors.
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- Ethics, Health care provider, medical error, Patient safety, Iatrogenesis