Sāfen Medical product development, clinical use and implementation are evidence-based.

Sāfen Clinical Evidence Summary: The Problem

Medication Errors: Prevalence and Impact

53.3% of IV medications have an error

91 study review found that 73% overall probability of making at least 1 error in IV therapy. Common medication groups associated with medical administration errors include nutrition and blood, gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, central nervous system, and antimicrobials.

An overall error rate of 14% was identified during the administering, documenting, and prescribing of IV infusion medication in an adult ICU. The mean number of errors per infusion order was 3.0. Up to 21 separate errors might occur in association with a single dose of an IV medication, and incorrect IV labels made up 31.5% of all errors.
For every added intravenous drug administered, the odds ratio for error increased by 1.03 in critical care settings.

The majority (24%) of the errors were related to medication labeling. 50% of the MEs led to an ADE and 50% were considered significant.

Although smart pumps offer numerous safety advantages, they are also prone to implementation and human factors problems, such as difficult user interfaces and complex programming requirements that create opportunities for serious errors.

The Costs of Medication Errors — Financial

Medication errors harm an estimated 1.5 million people every year and average $600,000 in extra costs per hospital.

Preventable medication errors impact more than 7 million patients and cost almost $21 billion annually across all care settings. It is estimated that inpatient preventable ADEs associated with injectable medications increase the annual US payer costs by $2.7 billion to $5.1 billion.

Sāfen Clinical Evidence Summary: The Problem

The Costs of Medication Errors — Emotional

Medication errors harm staff, too.

Medication errors undermine staff confidence and detract from sense of safety in workplace.

“Physicians and other providers may feel a variety of adverse emotions after medical error, including guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, and depression.”

Sāfen Clinical Evidence Summary: The Solution

Sāfen Clinical Evidence Summary

#3 National Patient Safety Goal for the Hospital Program: Improve the safety of using medications. “The labeling of all medications, medication containers, and other solutions is a risk-reduction activity consistent with safe medication management.”

This practice addresses a recognized risk point in the administration of medications in perioperative and other procedural settings. Labels for medications and medication containers are also addressed at Standard MM.05.01.09.

A summary of 57 studies found key “systemic defense” for IV errors is standardization of the use processes for high-alert medications.

This will further reduce the burden on clinicians to reconcile discrete infusion components (e.g., bag, pump, tubing) and use add-on components, like labels/ organizers, since components may be better associated to begin with (e.g., perceptual markers, physical proximity).

Tell Your Story

Did a medication error affect you or a loved one, or have you experienced IV line medication errors as a healthcare provider? We want to know your story.