Number of Self-Reported Medication Errors

When a health care organization learns of a medication error, it is usually by virtue of a self-reporting system, either on paper, by phone, or via computer. The success of a self-reporting system relies on several factors. First, staff must recognize when errors occur. Second, the reporting system must be user-friendly, not difficult or time-consuming. Third, the organization must have a just culture, one that encourages and rewards reporting and focuses not on individual blame and punishment but rather on improving systems and processes. As an organization works to become more safety-oriented by training staff to identify errors and unsafe conditions, and as its senior leadership fosters a just culture, it can expect to see more and more self-reported medication errors. This does not mean the organization has become less safe, but rather that the staff members trust their environment and are growing more adept at identifying errors.
Formula: The total number of medication errors reported using the organization’s self-reporting medication error system. (Note: Since the date the error was reported may differ from the date the error occurred, your organization may want to count errors in the month they are reported. Whichever counting method you choose, be sure it is consistent.)

Increase the number of self-reported medication errors by 50 percent within 6 months.

Data Collection Plan
Using the existing self-reporting system, count and record the absolute number of self-reported medication errors per month throughout the entire organization.

Sample Graph

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