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    The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure
    American writer Nikki Giovanni once said: “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts” (Goodreads, 2012). Whenever you make an error when writing a prescription, you must consider the ethical and legal implications of your error—no matter how seemingly insignificant it might be. You may fear the possible consequences and feel pressured not to disclose the error. Regardless, you need to consider the potential implications of non-disclosure. How you respond to the prescription error will affect you, the patient, and the health care facility where you practice. In this Assignment, you examine ethical and legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure of personal error.

    Consider the following scenario:

    You are working as an advanced practice nurse at a community health clinic. You make an error when prescribing a drug to a patient. You do not think the patient would know that you made the error, and it certainly was not intentional.
    To prepare:
    Consider the ethical implications of disclosure and nondisclosure.
    Research federal and state laws for advanced practice nurses. Reflect on the legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure for you and the health clinic.
    Consider what you would do as the advanced practice nurse in this scenario including whether or not you would disclose your error.
    Review the Institute for Safe Medication Practices website in the Learning Resources. Consider the process of writing prescriptions. Think about strategies to avoid medication errors.
    By Day 7
    Write a 2- to 3- page paper that addresses the following:

    Explain the ethical and legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.
    Describe what you would do as the advanced practice nurse in this scenario including whether or not you would disclose your error. Provide your rationale.
    Explain the process of writing prescriptions including strategies to minimize medication errors.

    this class is advanced pharmacology


Subject Nursing Pages 3 Style APA


Pharmacology: Prescription Errors

Generally, everyone makes mistakes. However, owning up to these mistakes is another matter. This is because it is hard to accept the errors committed and even more difficult to apologize to patients that are victims of these mistakes. This is particularly true in medical practice which health institutions, under pressure, have historically discouraged their health care providers from talking about their medical errors or even taking actions to atone them. Fortunately, the attitude within the medical profession towards its own errors has in the recent times changed radically (Wittich, Burkle, & Lanier, 2014). A culture of secrecy has paved way to a culture of transparency which has in turn brought profound benefits not only to patients, but also to the clinicians themselves. This paper will provide a detailed analysis about the ethical and legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure as well as shed light on the process of prescription writing

 Ethical and Legal Implications of Disclosure and Nondisclosure

During prescription errors, disclosure to patients should be guided by the ethical guidelines that have been laid down. Ethical and moral conduct dictates that clinicians should work towards resolving the prescription error. Disclosure during prescription errors is easier said than done. Some of the ethical principles that come into play during prescription are transparency, non-maleficence and beneficence.  Sage, Jablonski, and Thomas (2015) note that transparency is created due to fidelity which is an essential ethical element in delivery of patient care. The ethical principle of transparency demands that every health care provider should be frank to the patients and confide in them during health care concerns such as prescription errors. Conversely, non-maleficence and beneficence principles also encourage disclosure of medical errors. This is because the principles require nurses to prioritize the patients’ safety.

With regards to the scenario presented, I would disclose the prescription error I committed not only to the patient but also the family. Personally, I believe that all patients deserve optimum, holistic, and safe medical care. Prescription errors deny patients the quality of care they are expecting. It is for this reason that I would let the patient know where I went wrong during prescription. Disclosure of medication errors also aids in building trust and helping institutions to come up with necessary interventions for reducing occurrence of future medical errors. Personally, I feel that any attempt to conceal the truth from patients is not just selfish but also driven towards guarding a clinician against the law.

Writing Prescriptions

Clinicians have adopted several standard practices to avoid committing medication errors. However, the gold standard is to first taking a detailed patient history where patient factors such as genetics, age, diet, family history are considered because the significant determinants during the prescription process. When deciding on the most appropriate drug for the patient, other factors that are considered include the current status of the patient such as the functionality of the liver or kidney, weight, and if the patient is pregnant or not. More important, nurses should understand the mechanism of action of drugs and the various interactions of these drugs with other drugs or food as these can also result in untoward effects upon administration (Tigard, 2018). It is also of great importance for prescribers to correct label the medications, advice patients about the storage conditions of the drug, and other drug specifications before prescribing. Lastly, prescribers should not shy away from seeking advice from their colleagues or referring to drug references when they need certain clarifications on drugs they are about to prescribe.



Sage, W. M., Jablonski, J. S., & Thomas, E. J. (2015). Use of nondisclosure agreements in medical malpractice settlements by a large academic health care system. JAMA internal medicine175(7), 1130-1135.

Tigard, D. W. (2018). Taking the blame: appropriate responses to medical error. Journal of medical ethics, medethics-2017.

Wittich, C. M., Burkle, C. M., & Lanier, W. L. (2014, August). Medication errors: an overview for clinicians. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 89, No. 8, pp. 1116-1125). Elsevier.














Appendix A:

Communication Plan for an Inpatient Unit to Evaluate the Impact of Transformational Leadership Style Compared to Other Leader Styles such as Bureaucratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership in Nurse Engagement, Retention, and Team Member Satisfaction Over the Course of One Year

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