Report Lays Out Recommendations To Curb Medication Errors
A state panel on Tuesday released a report calling for physicians to use electronic prescribing technology and for legislators to adopt other strategies to reduce medication errors, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The Medication Errors Panel was created through legislation by former Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) (Lin, Sacramento Bee, 3/7). The panel produced the report through funding from the California HealthCare Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Pharmacy Foundation of California managed the funding (California Pharmacists Association release, 3/6).
The panel consisted of health care, consumer advocacy and academic representatives.
Recommendations from the report included:
- Adding the purpose of a pill to a prescription label;
- Labeling bottles in different languages;
- Creating a public education campaign; and
- Establishing a state-funded pilot project to collect data on the prevalence of medication errors at pharmacies in California.
Kim Belshé, secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency, said in a statement that some of the report's recommendations already are included in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) health care reform proposal. Belshé said Schwarzenegger's proposal seeks to reduce medical errors by:
- Pushing hospitals and clinics to adopt by 2008 safety measures related to infection control, surgical errors and adverse drug events;
- Enacting new reporting requirements; and
- Establishing an Office of Patient Safety within the Department of Public Health (Office of the Governor release, 3/6).