Errors in the medication process: frequency, type, and potential clinical consequences.
ABSTRACT To investigate the frequency, type, and consequences of medication errors in more stages of the medication process, including discharge summaries.
A cross-sectional study using three methods to detect errors in the medication process: direct observations, unannounced control visits, and chart reviews. With the exception of errors in discharge summaries all potential medication error consequences were evaluated by physicians and pharmacists.
A randomly selected medical and surgical department at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.
Eligible in-hospital patients aged 18 or over (n = 64), physicians prescribing drugs and nurses dispensing and administering drugs.
Frequency, type, and potential clinical consequences of all detected errors compared with the total number of opportunities for error.
We detected a total of 1065 errors in 2467 opportunities for errors (43%). In worst case scenario 20-30% of all evaluated medication errors were assessed as potential adverse drug events. In each stage the frequency of medication errors were-ordering: 167/433 (39%), transcription: 310/558 (56%), dispensing: 22/538 (4%), administration: 166/412 (41%), and finally discharge summaries: 401/526 (76%). The most common types of error throughout the medication process were: lack of drug form, unordered drug, omission of drug/dose, and lack of identity control.
There is a need for quality improvement, as almost 50% of all errors in doses and prescriptions in the medication process were caused by missing actions. We assume that the number of errors could be reduced by simple changes of existing procedures or by implementing automated technologies in the medication process.
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ABSTRACT: The knowledge of medication errors is an essential prerequisite for better healthcare delivery. The present study investigated prescribing errors in prescriptions from outpatient departments (OPDs) and emergency wards of two public sector hospitals in Lahore, Pakistan. A manual prescription system was followed in Hospital A. Hospital B was running a semi-computerised prescription system in the OPD and a fully computerised prescription system in the emergency ward. A total of 510 prescriptions from both departments of these two hospitals were evaluated for patient characteristics, demographics and medication errors. The data was analysed using a chi square test for comparison of errors between both the hospitals. The medical departments in OPDs of both hospitals were the highest prescribers at 45%-60%. The age group receiving the most treatment in emergency wards of both the hospitals was 21-30 years (21%-24%). A trend of omitting patient addresses and diagnoses was observed in almost all prescriptions from both of the hospitals. Nevertheless, patient information such as name, age, gender and legibility of the prescriber's signature were found in almost 100% of the electronic-prescriptions. In addition, no prescribing error was found pertaining to drug concentrations, quantity and rate of administration in e-prescriptions. The total prescribing errors in the OPD and emergency ward of Hospital A were found to be 44% and 60%, respectively. In hospital B, the OPD had 39% medication errors and the emergency department had 73.5% errors; this unexpected difference between the emergency ward and OPD of hospital B was mainly due to the inclusion of 69.4% omissions of route of administration in the prescriptions. The incidence of prescription overdose was approximately 7%-19% in the manual system and approximately 8% in semi and fully electronic system. The omission of information and incomplete information are contributors of prescribing errors in both manual and electronic prescriptions.PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e106080. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to clarify how a patient's identity was verified before the administration of medication in medical and surgical wards in a hospital, as well as to study the association between patient identification and the registered nurse's work experience, observed interruptions, and distractions. The study material was collected during April and May 2012 in two surgical and two medical wards in one university hospital in Finland, using a direct, structured observation method. A total of 32 registered nurses were observed while they administered 1058 medications to 122 patients. Patients were not identified at all in 66.8% (n = 707) of medication administrations. Patient identifications were made more often by nurses with shorter work experience in the nursing profession or in the wards (4 years or less), or if distractions existed during medication administration. According to the results, patient identification was not adequately conducted. There is a need for education and change in the culture of medication processes and nursing practice.Nursing and Health Sciences 07/2014; · 0.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The technology-driven medication process is complex, involving advanced technologies, patient participation and increased safety measures. Medication administration errors are frequently reported, with nurses implicated in 26-38% of in-hospital cases. This points to the need for new ways of educating nursing students in today's medication administration. To explore nursing students' experiences and competences with the technology-driven medication administration process. 16 pre-graduate nursing students were included in two focus group interviews which were recorded, transcribed and analyzed using the systematic horizontal phenomenological-hermeneutic template methodology. The interviews uncovered that understanding the technologies; professionalism and patient safety are three crucial elements in the medication process. The students expressed positivity and confidence in using technology, but were fearful of committing serious medication errors. From the nursing students' perspective, experienced nurses deviate from existing guidelines, leaving them feeling isolated in practical learning situations. Having an unclear nursing role model for the technology-driven medication process, nursing students face difficulties in identifying and adopting best practices. The impact of using technology on the frequency, type and severity of medication errors; the technologies implications on nursing professionalism and the nurses ability to secure patient adherence to the medication process, still remains to be studied. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Nurse Education in Practice 11/2014;