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J Nurs Adm. 2009 May;39(5):204-10. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181a23d6d.

Medication Administration Time Study (MATS): nursing staff performance of medication administration.

Author information

  • 1Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 251 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. esharpna@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to develop and test a method for assessing nursing effort and workflow in the medication administration process.

BACKGROUND:

Thousands of patients die each year from medication errors, and hospitals strive for error reduction. Bar-coding medication administration systems have been proposed as a solution; however, many hospitals lack the necessary pre-implementation workflow process data on medication administration processes to evaluate the effectiveness of their current systems.

METHOD:

A descriptive observation study of 151 nurses during 980 unique medication observations in medical-surgical units at a rural hospital, an urban community hospital, and an academic medical center was conducted.

RESULTS:

Nurses averaged more than 15 minutes on each medication pass and were at risk of an interruption or distraction with every medication pass.

CONCLUSION:

System challenges faced by nurses during the medication administration process lead to threats to patient safety, work-arounds, workflow inefficiencies, and distractions during a time when focus is most needed to prevent error.

PMID:
19423985
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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