LAHORE: On average 18.3 per cent of adverse events in hospitals occur due to medication errors, while approximately 3pc of hospital deaths are caused by these incidents, and in Pakistan, around 0.5 million people die each year due to such errors.

These observations were made by health experts while speaking at a webinar titled ‘Medication without harm’ held here on Tuesday.

Punjab Healthcare Commission Chief Executive Officer Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz chaired the event.

Some other senior officials of the commission also attended the event.

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr Faisal Sultan, Director Pharmacy Division Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Dr Noor Muhamad Shah and Councillor College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) Prof Dr Muhammad Tayyab gave detailed presentations regarding their respective areas.

The health experts asked the medics to strictly follow standardised medical and clinical protocols for prescribing medicines and treating patients, and in case of any negligence, authorities concerned must thoroughly undertake root cause analysis of the matters to take corrective actions and prevent future occurrences.

In his opening remarks, Dr Saqib Aziz said the objective would be to empower healthcare professionals and patients to support the elimination of preventable harm due to medication errors.

He also explained various manifestations of medication errors and highlighted the four domains for medication safety that include the public and patients, professionals, medicines and the systems.

He observed that medication safety was a global patient safety challenge, and even in a country like America, adverse drug events range between two and six per 100 admissions.

Mr Aziz elaborated various aspects and facets of medication errors, adding that such errors occurred due to weak medication management systems, and human factors, which would adversely affect prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring practices, which could result in severe patient harm, disability and even death.

Keeping in view the theme of patient safety day, a presentation was made by Dr Faisal Sultan.

He elaborated on the mechanism of the SKMH to avoid medication errors, and in case of an adverse event, he said the remedial measures were taken after finalising a probe into such mistakes.

An insightful presentation on drug utilisation review and risk assessment plan for medication safety was delivered by Prof Muhammad Tayyab.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2022

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