Medication error rates in a hospital with a ward stock distribution system Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/d217qs795

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  • Medication error rates have long been a subject of interest among the pharmaceutical, nursing, and medical professions. The basic purpose of medication error studies has been to discover the quantity and type of errors which exist, thus enabling the investigator to evaluate the relative safety of various drug distribution systems as well as to subsequently make appropriate recommendations. A medication error study was conducted at a 500 bed general medical and surgical hospital which utilized a ward stock drug distribution system. Different types of errors and error rates were presented and discussed. Altogether 2, 418 medications were reviewed, and a total of 195 patients were included in the study. Four wards were involved, which utilized approximately 37% of the hospital's medications. The reported total medication error rate for these wards ranged from 1:2.8 (35.4%) to 1:5.9 (16.9%). The method selected as being the most appropriate manner in which to express the total error rate revealed an error rate of 1:5.5 (18.03%). In addition to determining several medication error rates, eight auxiliary goals were sought. Included in these auxiliary goals was the determination of a Medication Card error rate which ranged from 1:13.2 (7.6%) to 1:18.2 (5.5%). It was also found that nurses made significantly more errors when they were unaware that a medication error study was being conducted (disguised observer technique) than when they were told that they were being observed for medication errors (direct observer technique). The results of this study should be of benefit to hospital pharmacists who wish to initiate changes in their drug distribution system.
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