Reducing Medication Errors: A Focus on the Med Pass

Recent studies have shed light on the growing problem of medication errors within our healthcare system. It is important that all healthcare providers be familiar with the extent of the problem, both the high error rates and the potentially serious consequences. This knowledge is needed to facilitate active participation in implementing effective strategies and changes in attitudes to decrease these error rates. Errors are, in effect, a breakdown of a system and not the sole responsibility of any one individual. Designed for the licensed nurse and certified medication aide, this course will provide information on the scope of problem, the cause and the prevention of medication errors. With a focus on the current best practices of medication preparation and administration and will enhance understanding of the survey process and remedies the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may enforce. The goal is to reduce facility medication error rates in order to provide safe medication administration to residents.

This course would be excellent for survey readiness review or for facilities that have received F-tags regarding medication administration, and serves as “Plan of Correction” directed education.

Questions? Check out our FAQs page and How Online IV Certification Works!


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Define a medication error.
  2. List the stages of the medication use process in which they participate.
  3. Identify 6 medication error causes and contributing factors.
  4. Describe 3 prevention strategies of medication errors.
  5. Accurately calculate medication error rate.
  6. Describe 3 remedies available to the state for penalty of a deficiency.
  7. State the importance of internal and external error reporting.


Chapter 1: Prevalence

  • Background
  • Definitions
  • Long Term Care Facilities

Chapter 2: Origination

  • Stages of Medication Use Process
  • Prevention of Medication Errors Videos

Chapter 3: Causes

  • Causes and Contributing Factors
    • Drug Interactions
    • Failure to Monitor
    • High Alert Medications
    • Look Alike and Sound Alike Medications
    • Abbreviations and Symbols
    • Decimal Points
    • Measurements
    • Specific Error Prone Medications

Chapter 4: The Nurse and Certified Medication Aides Role in Prevention

  • Prevention Strategies
    • The Rights
    • Transcriptions of Orders to the MAR
    • Reference the Medication
    • Timing of Medication Administration
    • Verifying Allergies and Reactions
    • Medication Interactions and Incompatibilities
    • Medication Reconciliation
  • Prevention Strategies  for High-Alert Medications

Chapter 5: Best Practice in Medication Preparation and the Medication Pass

  • Best Practices of the Medication Pass
  • Medication Pass Observation Tool

Chapter 6: Recommended Procedures for Medication Administration

  • Eye Drop/Ointment Administration Procedure
  • Insulin Administration Procedure
  • Metered Dose Inhaler Administration Procedure
  • Nasal Medications Administration Procedure
  • Transdermal Patch Administration Procedure
  • Administration of Medications via a Feeding Tube

Chapter 7: CMS Guidelines and Medication Error Rates

  • Scope and Severity
  • Enforcement Remedies
  • Medication Error Rate Calculations
  • Significant and Non-significant Medication Errors

Chapter 8: Reporting

  • Individual Healthcare Provider Accountability
  • External Reporting
  • Internal Reporting

Price: $35.00

Contact Hours: 3.5

Course Author

Capra Garrison

Capra Garrison, Registered Nurse, has more than 33 years of experience in infusion therapy and the instruction of licensed nurses in infusion therapy continuing education. Her experience comes from multiple infusion settings: acute care, ambulatory infusion centers, home infusion, long term care continuing education provider, and long term care pharmacy quality assurance consultant.

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