Prepackaged Medications Streamline Camp Operations and Reduce Risk for Medication Errors

by Michael Ambose, M.D.

Prepackaged Medications Streamline Camp Operations and Reduce Risk for Medication Errors

More than 1 in 4 children and adolescents in the U.S. take prescription medications on a regular basis, and summer camps are being forced to devote an excessive amount of time organizing, preparing and distributing medications every summer.  Children are being prescribed more medications than ever before to treat medical, emotional and psychological conditions, like asthma, ADHD and depression. With this increase, the risk for medication errors at camp has become a serious concern for both camp directors, camp nurses and parents.

Medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets. If medical errors were a disease, they would be the sixth leading cause of death in America, just behind accidents and ahead of Alzheimer’s.  Medication errors are one of the most dangerous types of medical errors, but also one of the most preventable. Those dispensing medications are instructed to follow the "five rights" of medication administration right patient, right drug, right dose, right time and right route. Safeguards in the administration of medications can eliminate medication errors and their associated potential drugrelated adverse events.

Prepackaged medications are a solution to help camps reduce the risk of medication errors. Camper medications are organized by a licensed pharmacy in sealed blister or dose packages, clearly labeled with the camper's name and dispensing instructions. Prepackaged medications can simplify the checkin process, eliminate extra paperwork, and avoid the need to rely on handwritten instructions. The slow adoption to prepackaged medications has been due to expensive processing fees and highly priced overthecounter medications, as well as the limited ability to accept major insurance plans.

Starting this fall, will begin offering an integrated solution that will allow summer camps to utilize prepackaged medications, and take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of medication errors, without the hurdles they have faced before.  Processed through the Electronic Health Record, prepackaged medications will be offered with a lowcost processing fee of $4.95 per camper. The service from will also offer competitively priced overthecounter medications, accept all major insurance carriers and ship medications directly to camps at no additional cost.

The first day of every session, when new campers arrive with their bags full of medications, is a time of increased stress and heightened anxiety for camp directors, camp nurses and parents. Through, camps will now be able to administer medications while reviewing the most current medical information and clinical data available, reducing the need for paper and minimizing the potential for human error. will give camps a safe, secure and costeffective solution for managing camper medications, and will raise the standard and quality of care delivered at summer camps throughout the country.

About Michael Ambrose, M.D.
Dr. Michael Ambrose is a pediatrician who earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed his residency training at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ambrose is a member of the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, and has been involved in camping and camp health for over ten years. Having spent several summers volunteering as a camp doctor, he remains devoted to the continual improvement of the camping industry and creating innovative solutions for summer camps and camp clinics.