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Medication Safety

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  • Pharmacist preparing prescriptions at a dispensary

    Safe dispensing in community pharmacies: applying the software, hardware, environment and liveware (SHELL) model

    The human aspects of the community pharmacy work system are vulnerable to medication-related errors. Established models of human error can identify actual or potential hazards, and are important in our understanding of the interaction between human and system factors that influence performance. The software, hardware, environment and liveware (SHELL) model, a traditional human factors framework, is used in this article to classify potential sources of error in community ...

  • Blank or white medicine blister pack

    Design for dispensing: how far can we go to make packaging safer? Subscription

    It is a decade since the National Patient Safety Agency issued guidance on medicines packaging design in a bid to reduce the risk of dispensing errors. But medicines that sound alike or look alike are still responsible for a large proportion of errors. A collaborative approach between manufacturers, regulators and pharmacy organisations is required to tackle the problem.

  • Angela Alexander, professor of pharmacy education at the University of Reading

    Improving prescribing practice to ensure patient safety Subscription

    The competency framework for prescribers was updated in July 2016 with the aim of making it a more comprehensive and rationalised document, one that is relevant to all prescribers.

  • Alistair Gray, clinical services lead pharmacist, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT)

    Transfer of care: how electronic referral systems can help to keep patients safe Subscription

    Schemes designed to enable accurate transfer of information about discharge medication are in operation across the UK and aim to improve patient safety.

  • Illustration showing possible errors in hospital and community scenarios

    Understanding models of error and how they apply in clinical practice Subscription

    Models of human error can be helpful in determining why errors have occurred in the past, where future vulnerabilities may lie, and how healthcare professionals might take action to make clinical practice safer.

  • Statin myopathy stain showing muscle fibres in varying stages of necrosis, phagocytes and regeneration

    Statins: general safety profile and association with myopathy Subscription

    Statin therapy has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in reducing mortalities associated with cardiovascular diseases through preventing myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke. Despite the proven benefits of statins in this context, there are growing concerns among patients and physicians on the safety of short-term and long-term use and their adverse effects, especially muscle toxicity, resulting in non-adherence and withdrawal of the treatment. Reports and publications ...

  • The safety of antiepileptic drug use in pregnancy involves: the pregnant woman in her own right; the foetus while in her womb; and during its subsequent extra-uterine existence as a neonate and infant. Pregnant woman during an ultrasound scan pictured

    Antiepileptic drug safety in pregnancy: possible dangers for the pregnant woman and her foetus Subscription

    In addition to the safety issues that apply whenever antiepileptic drugs are taken by patients, additional safety-related matters arise in pregnant women. These may involve the women themselves or their foetuses, and apply both during, and for a time after, pregnancy. During pregnancy, the safety of women with epilepsy may be endangered by loss of seizure control caused by increased antiepileptic drug clearances not being compensated for by appropriate adjustments of drug dosages. ...

  • Biosimilar infliximab is now available for the management of a number of rheumatology conditions and, in the next few years, additional biosimilar medicines will become available for rheumatology patients. In the image, x-ray of arthritic feet

    Biosimilar medicines in rheumatology Subscription

    The long-term safety of biosimilar medicines is unknown, but while their use in rheumatology practice is supported, switching patients currently responding and tolerating the reference product is not.

  • Postnatal depression occurs after a woman has given birth and can occur any time up until one year after delivery. WHO recommends breastfeeding but this is complicated when a new mother is treated for depression. Pictured, a mother breastfeeds her child

    Antidepressant use during breastfeeding Subscription

    Recognising the symptoms of postnatal depression, which occurs in 10–15% women following childbirth, and selecting the most appropriate antidepressant.

  • Making a mistake at work can leave anyone lacking confidence and unsure how to proceed. This article discusses how pharmacists should deal with errors and overcome the aftermath. In the image, a person walks towards the light at the end of a tunnel

    How to recover from making a mistake at work Subscription

    Making a mistake at work can leave anyone lacking confidence and unsure how to proceed. So how should pharmacists deal with errors and overcome the aftermath?

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