Slate’s Law Blog

Preventing Medication Mistakes With an App

Medication Errors

Researchers are often looking for new ways to prevent serious injuries due to medical malpractice. Medical mistakes occur with some frequency in emergency medicine settings, particularly among children, and many of those errors involve the administration of medications to children in emergency situations. According to a recent report from Mobi Health News, a new study published in JAMA Network Open suggests that “a mobile app designed to assist with pediatric drug preparation lowered the rate of medication errors and time to drug delivery when used by paramedics.” In other words, an app might be able to help reduce the rate of medication mistakes and thus to reduce the rate of pediatric emergency injuries related to medication errors.

Our experienced Santa Fe medical malpractice attorneys want to tell you more about the recent study and to ensure that you know what to do if you need help filing a medical negligence claim.

Research on Pediatric Emergency Medication Mistakes

The current research shows that medication errors, particularly in drug preparations, tend to occur more frequently among pediatric patients than adults. Indeed, the authors of the study emphasized that many emergency medical technicians or paramedics have “less exposure to treating critically ill kids and more emotional stress when working with children.” As a result, more pediatric injuries can occur. Further, since children are not the targets for most drug amount calculations, and since kids have widely varying weights and sizes, considerations for “weight-based dose calculations for each child” can also be more complex.

According to the authors of the study, although health care professionals have focused some energy on working to prevent pediatric injuries in emergency settings, there is still more work to be done. The researchers in this instance point to the “numerous interventions involving information technology [that] have been developed to improve in-hospital security of the medication process,” yet “error prevention strategies and evaluation of their efficacy in the prehospital area are [still] scarce.” As such, there is a need for additional steps, and a patient safety app might improve overall rates of pediatric injuries when it comes to emergency medical treatment.

PedAMINES and the Recent Study Out of Geneva University Hospitals

To assess a new app called PedAMINES which is being developed through Geneva University Hospitals, the researchers looked at a total of 304 drug preparations for pediatric patients “using a conventional method” and determined that 191 of them “were associated with medication errors.” To put that number another way, nearly 63% of the drug preparations involved some type of medication mistake when only conventional methods were used to prepare and plan to administer the drug.

However, when the newly designed app PedAMINES was in use, “only 17 of the 296 preparations” resulted in a medication error. To put that number another way, the medication mistake rate was under 6%. In sum, the app looks promising in terms of reducing pediatric medication injuries in emergency settings.

Contact Our Medical Negligence Lawyers

If your child was injured by a health care provider’s negligence, you should seek advice from a Santa Fe medical malpractice attorney about filing a claim. Contact Slate Stern Law to learn more.