Protect patients better from medication errors

Protect patients better from medication errors

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Protect patients better from medication errors

Every year, more people die in Germany from the side effects of drugs than on the road. Pharmacists therefore demand that patients be better protected against medication errors.

More deaths from side effects than from road traffic Every year, more German citizens die from side effects from drugs than from road traffic, reports the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations (ABDA). Professor Dr. Ulrich Jaehde explained at the Pharmacon Schladming, the international training congress of the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists: “Road traffic has become increasingly safe in recent decades, for example due to the use of seat belts and the standard introduction of airbags. We have to introduce comparable levels of safety in drug therapy. ”Jaehde is a pharmacist and teaches clinical pharmacy at the University of Bonn.

Making the use of medication safer According to various estimates, 16,000 to 58,000 Germans die directly or indirectly from drug side effects each year. In comparison, there are about 4,000 accidental deaths per year. As it goes on to say, the mismanagement of polymedication does not only have health consequences, but also causes an estimated cost of 1 billion euros in Germany every year. The goal of drug therapy safety (AMTS) is to make the use of drugs significantly safer in the coming years. It is said that about five percent of all hospital admissions are the result of undesirable drug effects.

Seniors particularly often affected Because of the simultaneous occurrence of several diseases and the resulting polymedication, this rate is even around ten percent for seniors. Jaehde said: “About half of all drug-related hospitalizations would be avoidable because they are the result of a medication error. This is where doctors, pharmacists, nurses and patients need to work better together. ”A medication error, for example, is when a patient suffering from diabetes accidentally takes a blood sugar-lowering medication without eating anything as intended shortly afterwards. This can result in hypoglycaemia and a weakness or fainting of the person concerned. Frequent medication errors are drug interactions.

Cooperation needs to be better coordinated As it goes on to say, pharmacists can do a lot to improve AMTS and thus patient safety, for example as part of a so-called "medication management". According to Jaehde, there are three main approaches to improving AMTS: First, a medication plan is indispensable, in which all medications currently taken are fully listed. In addition, the cooperation between doctors, pharmacists and nurses needs to be better coordinated. And the third, also indispensable step is the information of the patients and their active involvement.

Drug therapy safety application on the health card An agreement on drug therapy safety has recently been reached with regard to the electronic health card (eGK). According to media reports, the top organizations of pharmacists, doctors, hospitals, dentists and health insurance companies agreed on a content framework for the voluntary application of "drug therapy safety" (AMTS) at the eGK a few days ago, according to media reports. However, there is still a long way to go before the practical application of the AMTS function, which is voluntary for all patients. (ad)

Image: Bernd Kasper /

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Video: Ensuring Medication Safety


  1. Sexton

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  3. Munachiso

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  4. Caradoc

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  5. Guri

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