Weant et al reported risk factors for medication errors in the Emergency Department. These are based on data from the study of Peth. The authors are from North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Kentucky.

Patient selection: Emergency Department


Patient related risk factors:

(1) unfamiliar and undifferentiated patient

(2) critically ill, requiring urgent or emergency care

(3) multiple patients requiring simultaneous care


ED related risk factors:

(1) 24/7 operations (nights and weekends)

(2) overcrowding

(3) understaffing of personnel

(4) absence of standardized handoff communication/procedures


Medication related risk factors:

(1) verbal orders

(2) dispensing medications without double check by pharmacist

(3) lack of independent double checks of nurse-prepared medications

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