Every day, nurses are inundated with alerts warning of potential medication errors via system safeguards. Even though error-reduction systems are in place, human errors still occur. Clinicians learn of medication errors and attempt to identify gaps in the medication administration system, but they rarely have the opportunity to delve into the root of the error. Nurses rightfully question how errors occur and how they can be prevented. Because of this, clinicians need to develop the skills necessary to recognize and reduce the risk of errors and to better identify errors before they reach the patient. This column provides an overview of medication errors and case reviews, followed by a discussion of relevant strategies for preventing medication errors.

It may be said that our brains are naturally wired to make errors because of our propensity to be creative. We depend on our thought...

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