A medication error is a failure of a planned action to be completed as intended1 or the use of an incorrect plan to achieve an aim at any stage of the medication process, including ordering, transcribing, dispensing, administering, or monitoring. Serious medication errors either cause harm or have the potential to do so. Adverse events are incidents that occur during the process of providing health care and result in patient injury or death. The Canadian Adverse Events Study showed that adverse events due to medication errors and other causes occur in 7.5% of hospital admissions involving Canadian adults and are associated with a 20% risk of death and longer duration of hospital stay.
Intensive care units (ICUs) house the most critically ill patients, who have the most complex medical problems, little physiologic reserve, and the highest mortality rates. These patients are subjected to numerous risky medications and invasive medical procedures. It is not surprising that the rates and consequences of medical errors are much greater among ICU patients than among other patients. Some Canadian hospitals report adverse events as part of their risk management strategies and accreditation requirements, and some report to the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (sponsored in part by the Canadian Institute for Health Information) and the Canadian Adverse Event Reporting and Learning System (sponsored by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute). However, there is no standard method of measuring medication errors and adverse drug events, and very little information is available about reporting systems for medication errors in Canadian ICUs. The objective of this study was to characterize local reporting of medication errors and adverse drug events in Canadian ICUs. levitra professional