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Application: 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.

To complete:

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.


Hi everyone. I am including an outline to help you with your papers that are due by the end of week 2.
1.Complete title page.
2.Introduction – briefly describe the objective(s) of your paper (i.e. tell me what you are going to talk about). You should include the scenario in this section.
3.Ethics and Law – describe the relationship between ethics and law as they relate to disclosure and nondisclosure of medication errors.◦Include the code of ethics in this discussion
◦Provide federal and state laws relative to your practice state◦Some states simply refer to the code of ethics (you should state how your state handles this issue)

4.Decision: State your personal view of whether or not to disclose the error described in the scenario. Use your discussion of ethics and law to support your decision.
5.Strategies: Use the ISMP website to describe strategies to make prescription writing safer.
◦Include the elements of a complete prescription in this discussion.
◦Include several strategies.Think about your practice environment when selecting strategies (i.e. pick those that would be most useful to you)

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