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The ENSH joins the ECAMET Alliance on Medication Errors and Traceability

15 June 2021

Brussels, 15 June 2021

We are truly delighted to join the European Collaborative Action on Medication Errors and Traceability (ECAMET), a patient safety initiative run by the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM). The Alliance is firmly resolved to significantly reduce medication errors and promote, at European and national levels, the implementation of comprehensive electronic traceability systems in the hospital settings, being a vigilant body to support European and national initiatives aimed at protecting and promoting patient safety in the EU.

Medication errors are the most common cause of harm to patients in acute care settings, not only in terms of number, but as well in morbidity and mortality. Medication errors can include prescribing, preparation, dispensing, administration mistakes as well as monitoring errors.

According to the WHO, medication errors occur when unreliable medication systems and/or human factors such as fatigue and lack of health care workers affect the practice of prescribing, dispensing, administering and monitoring medication. The most frequent errors occur during the medication administration phase in hospitals.

High workloads and lack of health care personnel contribute to 23% of medication errors.

If any type of error occurs and reaches the patient, the harm incurred is considered preventable.

Clinical evidence shows that the introduction of traceability systems in hospitals would allow a significant reduction in medication errors, as well as improve the efficiency and quality of care of nursing staff.

The role of medication traceability in preventing such errors in acute care settings is critical. Medication traceability includes the following concepts

  • Automated storage and electronic dispensing cabinets systems
  • e-Prescription and e-preparation systems
  • Electronic scanning systems, such as barcoded medication administration (BCMA)
  • Smart pumps
  • Full connectivity of systems in the acute care setting

Please contact the EAASM Secretariat if you wish to know more.