Medication errors of nurses in the emergency department

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#IVTEAM #Intravenous literature: Ehsani, S.R., Cheraghi, M.A., Nejati, A., Salari, A., Esmaeilpoor, A.H. and Nejad, E.M. (2013) Medication errors of nurses in the emergency department. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine. 6:11.

Abstract:

Patient safety is one of the main concepts in the field of healthcare provision and a major component of health services quality. One of the important stages in promotion of the safety level of patients is identification of medication errors and their causes. Medical errors such as medication errors are the most prevalent errors that threaten health and are a global problem. Execution of medication orders is an important part of the treatment and care process and is regarded as the main part of the nurses’ performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the medication error reporting rate, error types and their causes among nurses in the emergency department. In this descriptive study, 94 nurses of the emergency department of Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex were selected based on census in 2010-2011. Data collection tool was a researcher-made questionnaire consisting of two parts: demographic information, and types and causes of medication errors. After confirming content-face validity, reliability of the questionnaire was determined to be 0.91 using Cronbach’s alpha test. Data analyses were performed by descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. SPSS-16 software was used in this study and P values less than 0.05 were considered significant. The mean age of the nurses was 27.7 ± 3.4 years, and their working experience was 7.3 ± 3.4 years. Of participants 46.8% had committed medication errors in the past year, and the majority (69.04%) had committed the errors only once. Thirty two nurses (72.7%) had not reported medication errors to head nurses or the nursing office. The most prevalent types of medication errors were related to infusion rates (33.3%) and administering two doses of medicine instead of one (23.8%). The most important causes of medication errors were shortage of nurses (47.6%) and lack of sufficient pharmacological information (30.9%). This study showed that the risk of medication errors among nurses is high and medication errors are a major problem of nursing in the emergency department. We recommend increasing the number of nurses, adjusting the workload of the nursing staff in the emergency department, retraining courses to improve the staff’s pharmacological information, modification of the education process, encouraging nurses to report medical errors and encouraging hospital managers to respond to errors in a constructive manner in order to enhance patient safety.

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