The benefit of houseofficer education on proper medication dose calculation and ordering.
ABSTRACT Drug dosing errors commonly cause morbidity and mortality. This prospective controlled study was performed to determine: 1) residents' understanding of drug dose calculations and ordering; and 2) the short-term effect of a brief educational intervention on the skills required to properly calculate dosages and order medications.
The study was conducted at an urban public hospital with a four-year emergency medicine (EM) residency program. The EM residents served as the study group and were unaware of the study design. A written, eight-question test (T1) with clinical situations and factual questions was administered. Immediately following the test, correct answers were discussed for 30 minutes. Key concepts were emphasized. Six weeks later, a repeat test (T2a) with a similar format was administered to the study group. The same test (T2b) was simultaneously administered to a control group, residents of similar training who did not take T1, in order to determine test equivalency (T1 vs T2). Tests were graded using explicit criteria by a single investigator blinded to the order of administration.
Twenty residents completed both tests T1 and T2a. Their mean scores were 48% and 70%, respectively (p < 0.001, paired t-test). The control group of ten residents had a mean score of 49% (T2b), similar to the study group's scores on T1 (T1 vs T2b, p = 0.40, unpaired t-test).
Emergency medicine residents require specific training in calculating and executing drug ordering. A brief educational intervention significantly improved short-term performance when retested six weeks later. Long-term retention is unknown.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We studied the contribution of iatrogenic illness to cardiac arrest among patients hospitalized in 1981 in a university teaching hospital. During this 1-year period, 28 (14%) of 203 arrests in which resuscitation was attempted followed an iatrogenic complication. Seventeen (61%) of the 28 patients died. The demographic characteristics of patients with iatrogenic arrest did not differ strikingly from those of other patients who arrested. However, patients with iatrogenic arrest were less likely to be in cardiogenic shock or to have suffered an acute myocardial infarction prior to arrest. They were more likely to survive to discharge from the hospital and to be taking digoxin or antiarrhythmic medication prior to arrest. Among the 28 cases of iatrogenic cardiac arrest, 18 (9% of all arrests) might have been prevented by stricter attention to the patient's history, findings on physical examination, and laboratory data. The most common causes of potentially preventable arrest were medication errors and toxic effects (44%) as well as suboptimal response by physicians to clinical signs and symptoms (28%), most frequently dyspnea and tachypnea. Rapid, appropriate response to abnormal drug levels, to electrocardiographic signs of adverse drug effects, and to signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure or toxic effects from digoxin might decrease the incidence of cardiac arrest among hospitalized patients.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 07/1991; 265(21):2815-20. · 29.98 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a significant and costly cause of injury during hospitalization. To evaluate the efficacy of 2 interventions for preventing nonintercepted serious medication errors, defined as those that either resulted in or had potential to result in an ADE and were not intercepted before reaching the patient. Before-after comparison between phase 1 (baseline) and phase 2 (after intervention was implemented) and, within phase 2, a randomized comparison between physician computer order entry (POE) and the combination of POE plus a team intervention. Large tertiary care hospital. For the comparison of phase 1 and 2, all patients admitted to a stratified random sample of 6 medical and surgical units in a tertiary care hospital over a 6-month period, and for the randomized comparison during phase 2, all patients admitted to the same units and 2 randomly selected additional units over a subsequent 9-month period. A physician computer order entry system (POE) for all units and a team-based intervention that included changing the role of pharmacists, implemented for half the units. Nonintercepted serious medication errors. Comparing identical units between phases 1 and 2, nonintercepted serious medication errors decreased 55%, from 10.7 events per 1000 patient-days to 4.86 events per 1000 (P=.01). The decline occurred for all stages of the medication-use process. Preventable ADEs declined 17% from 4.69 to 3.88 (P=.37), while nonintercepted potential ADEs declined 84% from 5.99 to 0.98 per 1000 patient-days (P=.002). When POE-only was compared with the POE plus team intervention combined, the team intervention conferred no additional benefit over POE. Physician computer order entry decreased the rate of nonintercepted serious medication errors by more than half, although this decrease was larger for potential ADEs than for errors that actually resulted in an ADE.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 11/1998; 280(15):1311-6. · 29.98 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To quantify the type and frequency of identifiable factors associated with medication prescribing errors. Systematic evaluation of every third prescribing error detected and averted by pharmacists in a 631-bed tertiary care teaching hospital between July 1, 1994, and June 30, 1995. Each error was concurrently evaluated for the potential to result in adverse patient consequences. Each error was retrospectively evaluated by a physician and 2 pharmacists and a factor likely related to the error was identified. All physicians prescribing medications during the study period and all staff pharmacists involved in the routine review of medication orders. Frequency of association of factors likely related to medication errors in general and specific to medication classes and prescribing services (needed for medical, pediatric, obstetric-gynecologic, surgical, or emergency department patients); and potential consequences of errors for negative patient outcomes. A total of 2103 errors thought to have potential clinical importance were detected during the 1-year study period. The overall rate of errors was 3.99 errors per 1000 medication orders, and the error rate varied among medication classes and prescribing services. A total of 696 errors met study criteria (ie, errors with the potential for adverse patient effects) and were evaluated for a likely related factor. The most common specific factors associated with errors were decline in renal or hepatic function requiring alteration of drug therapy (97 errors, 13.9%), patient history of allergy to the same medication class (84 errors, 12.1%), using the wrong drug name, dosage form, or abbreviation (total of 79 errors, 11.4%, for both brand name and generic name orders), incorrect dosage calculations (77 errors, 11.1%), and atypical or unusual and critical dosage frequency considerations (75 errors, 10.8%). The most common groups of factors associated with errors were those related to knowledge and the application of knowledge regarding drug therapy (209 errors, 30%); knowledge and use of knowledge regarding patient factors that affect drug therapy (203 errors, 29.2%); use of calculations, decimal points, or unit and rate expression factors (122 errors, 17.5%); and nomenclature factors (incorrect drug name, dosage form, or abbreviation) (93 errors, 13.4%). Several easily identified factors are associated with a large proportion of medication prescribing errors. By improving the focus of organizational, technological, and risk management educational and training efforts using the factors commonly associated with prescribing errors, risk to patients from adverse drug events should be reduced.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 01/1997; 277(4):312-7. · 29.98 Impact Factor