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J Clin Nurs. 2012 Jul;21(13-14):1806-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03760.x. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Medicine administration errors and their severity in secondary care older persons' ward: a multi-centre observational study.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Norfolk, UK. j.kelly@uea.ac.uk

Abstract

AIM AND OBJECTIVES:

To assess the severity of medicine administration errors to older patients.

BACKGROUND:

Severity of medicine administration errors has been determined in a variety of settings but not in care-of-older-person wards, which this study aims to do.

DESIGN:

Undisguised observational study.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixty-two nurses were observed administering oral medicines to 625 patients.

INTERVENTIONS:

Data were collected on the preparation and administration of oral medicines. Thirty-five cases of error were selected and analysed for their severity.

RESULTS:

In the 65 drug rounds observed 2129 potential drug administrations were made to 625 patients, of which 817 doses (38.4%) were given incorrectly (95% CI = 36.3-40.4). The overall mean harm score of the 35 incidents analysed was 4.1 (range 1.1-8.6, SD 1.8) on a scale of 0-10.

CONCLUSIONS:

The number and severity of MAEs observed is high compared with previous studies.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

There is a need to decrease the number and severity of MAEs, by increasing nurse awareness and error reporting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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