Transcribing errors, how can we eradicate them?

In the work place it is too common that we pick up a MAR chart and see incorrect dosing or medications not clearly written among others. Also the need for clinicians to scribe blood results into margins when there is a perfectly good results reporting solution in use within the health organisation.

Transcribing errors are a consequence of human performance whether it be during a busy shift or on a lengthy acute take managing multiple patients. These can be avoided by making sure that those solutions that are accessible are mobilised correctly so that clinicians have results at there fingertips and do not have to fight for a computer where local infrastructure is not sufficient.

We are the creators of our own problems most of the time which can be resolved if everyone has a voice and communicates need in the ever changing NHS where it is said that the emphasis will be on improving healthcare IT as stated in the forward plan.

The quickest way to get to results seems to be by writing them in notes that are accessible on ward rounds and post take rounds, but wouldn’t it be just as easy to have a laptop, iPad or PDA with the same access to results!

In contrast MAR charts and prescribing needs to be electronic to become safer, this is not to say errors do not happen using ePrescribing solutions but they can be greatly reduced. The dangers of dosing patients incorrectly due to inexperience or tiredness should be a thing of the past, but there is a correlation between this and the number of errors encountered in clinical areas.

With patient safety being at the forefront of our daily routine we should be the voice for change within our organisations to create a safer environment in which to deliver care.

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