One of the major challenges of the health system is dealing with errors related to drug delivery and administration. Such errors have serious implications and often cause irreparable damage and even death to both patients and medical staff. Medication errors are, sadly, more common than we care to think. In the US only there were 1.5 million medication errors annually in 2006 and this number keeps growing. An influential report from the Institute of Medicine estimates that up to 98,000 Americans die every year from medical mistakes in hospitals alone. In Europe the numbers are not much different and it is estimated that the annual cost of medication errors is €4.5-21.8 billion, not to mention physical damage and fatalities.
“Medication errors” are unintentional errors in the prescribing, dispensing, administration or monitoring of a medicine while under the control of a healthcare professional, patient or consumer. They are the most common single preventable cause of adverse events in medication practice.
Another definition of Medication Error is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use”
Patient safety is, therefore a key element in medicine.
The trend in the last decade for improving medication safety in health systems is through innovations in automation technology. On the one hand there are increasing regulatory requirements on the pharmacists and on the other hand hospitals are reprioritizing investment toward patient safety. More and more hospitals are implementing computerized devices and systems, which significantly improve the precision and safety of dosages and distribution of medication. One of the most important technological advances in the health care industry is in the realm of dispensing medication.
Combining automation in the preparation of dosages and diluting medications for injections or providing them intravenously will ease the work of the medical team, save time and reduce errors, particularly in situations of working under stress, such as resuscitation.
RescueDose is one of the pioneers in this industry and intends to be the first company to offer mobile automatic dispensing of liquid medication system positioned at the patient’s bedside.