Q&A: Does anyone have a severity rating form for tracking the severity of medication errors?

By Amy Stewart, RN, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, RAC-MT - November 13, 2017

Question: Does anyone have a severity rating form that they use for tracking medication error?  Do you use this form to track the type of disciplinary action taken?

Answer: I have a few resources for medication error ranking. The attached is from 2001, but is very similar to this one from AHRQ.

Regarding the disciplinary portion of your question, I feel each situation needs to be investigated to ensure that that a process or system related issue did not cause the error to occur. In the past, I have had situations in which an error occurred but caused no harm even though the error had the potential to cause significant harm. In these cases, the nurse was given a warning.  In other situations, a resident was given an incorrect medication and was sent to the hospital. In these cases, the nurse was relieved of her duties. Consistency in the disciplinary process is an important consideration.

I hope this is helpful.

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Amy Stewart, RN, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, RAC-MT
Curriculum Development Specialist


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