Medication errors cause unnecessary and avoidable harm

Though estimates vary across studies and countries, medication errors are responsible for millions of adverse events worldwide. Reported medication errors are only a small fraction of what really happens and the real rate is estimated to be between 2 and 14% of patients admitted to hospital, with estimations of around 1–2% of patients being harmed as a result.44

The estimated NHS costs of definitely avoidable Adverse Drug reactions in secondary care are £14.8 million causing 85 deaths and contributing to 1,081 deaths.46

In the UK, it is estimated that 237,396,371 medication errors occur at some point in the medication use process in England per annum. 20% of those are happening in secondary care. The proportion of errors occurring at each stage of the medicines use process in secondary care is: 8.5% prescribing, 7.1% transition, 2.9% dispensing, 78.6% administration, and 2.9% monitoring.46

Medication errors reduce quality of care and are a significant economic burden to healthcare institutions

18.7-56% of all adverse events among hospitalised patients result from preventable medication errors21

Administration errors are the hardest to intercept, causing direct harmful consequences for patients22

Medication errors mainly occur during preparation, distribution and administration of medication

Intravenous infusion (IV) administration errors pose a significant burden to hospitals



of all patients receive IV medications during hospitalisation23


of patients admitted to ICU experience at least one medication error24

Dispensing errors can lead to inappropriate therapy and are often under-reported

A dispensing error rate of up to


has been observed in prospective studies25

Medication errors are found throughout the entire hospital setting

A culture of safety goes beyond products. Solutions to improve medication errors are made from a combination of products, services and capabilities – and this is where our expertise can help you in building and supporting this culture

Developing and maintaining a culture of safety not only protects and reduces harm, but supports improving:

Budget management

Operational efficiency

Reductions in avoidable patient harm

Delivery of high-quality patient care

Clinical decision making


Challenges in medication errors

From diagnostics to pharmacy to patient, BD's unique portfolio and capabilties can help you prevent, identify and reduce medication errors by impacting multiple stages of the patient journey.

Sample Collection and Analysis
Improved sample quality resulting in faster and more consistent results, - greater diagnostic accuracy, reduction in collection errors and poor quality samples and retesting.

Diagnostic testing
More accurate, rapid and appropriate diagnostics to enable more effective clinical decision-making and fully informed prescription.

Drug prescription and transcription
Reduced prescription errors through an automated and standardized physician planning and prescription for chemotherapy.

Drug preparation
Reduced IV compounding errors by standardizing workflow through an integrated, gravimetric solution with full traceability that drives safer and more efficient chemotherapy preparation.

Drug dispensing
Reduced medication dispensing errors from drug reception to patient increasing nursing efficiency, optimizing drug inventory and total cost of ownership through automation and integration.

Drug administration
Closed-loop dose error reduction solution (combining drug library, infusion analytics, enterprise management software and clinical services) reducing IV related administration errors.

Discover BD solutions

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