Wyoming County Community Health System Decreases Medication Errors

Medication-related complications due to error are a serious concern for hospitals dedicated to maintaining patient safety. These preventable errors can increase the length of stay for patients and healthcare costs for the hospital. Aiming to reduce instances of medication error, Wyoming County Community Health System (WCCHS) began a robust reporting process.

In 2012, WCCHS began reporting each incident of medication error to the Quality Board of Managers. Each incident is investigated and shared with nursing, providers, and pharmacy. This is key, as medication errors are not solely a nursing issue. Errors are reviewed by each department manager with frontline staff, as well as in monthly department-specific meetings. The event is then routed to “Shed Med,” a specialized committee that discusses and brainstorms causes and solutions. In this non-punitive process, each medication error is used as an educational opportunity for improvement to encourage the reporting of errors among staff.

WCCHS staff have an increased sense of responsibility and accountability. The hospital went from 63 medication errors in 2013 to just 16 in 2017.

For more information, contact LuAnne Roberts, BSHA, Coordinator, Quality and Risk Management, Wyoming County Community Health System, at (585) 786-8940, ext. 4877 or at lroberts@wcchs.net.