Limitations in the study of medication errors

Limitations in the study of medication errors
15/04/2017 Comments Off on Limitations in the study of medication errors Academic Papers on Health and Medicine admin

Most studies carried out to study medication errors usually do not have the requisite number of places or sites because hospitals, clinics and even the nurses themselves do not wish their mistakes and inadequacies to be known to anyone, especially the administration and nursing managers of their units. Therefore it is not easy to obtain conclusive proof of medication errors mostly because of the pervasive nurse cultures about not disclosing such embarrassing information especially to someone who is carrying out a study that might be published. Besides, causal, and informal sampling small sample sizes raise increased procedural issues.

No matter what policies or procedures are adopted by medical institutions, reporting medication errors is dependent upon the nurse’s integrity and ability to recognize medication errors and their decision to report these errors to the nursing manager or administration. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations contends that the basic cause of medication errors can be attributed as not following physician’s orders. Medication errors in the hospital can be as much as 1.9 patients per day. The most frequent sources of these errors include the inability to read or understand physicians instructions, monitoring and calculating errors and of course administrative mistakes.

These errors can be inadvertently committed by anyone that includes physicians, pharmacists, and nurses. However, studies have not indicated any coherent relationship between medication errors and nurse characteristics such as age, years of practice or education. This proves that medication errors can be made by anyone irrespective of any set characteristics. Studies found that professional nursing practices which involved administration needed the proper basic education and ethical consideration of patient care. The most common view was that additional training in administering medicines would further improve the situation and reduce medication errors by nurses.

Because medication errors cannot be attributed to any single professional group, it would help greatly if other health professionals are consulted for the development of establishing processes, policies and systems that will reduce errors in administering medicines. The hospital or clinics that employ nursing staff have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their patients and administering the correct dosages of medications at the required time. There are several studies available that can provide cohesive recommendation towards the prevention and reduction of medication errors and supporting best practices among nurses. .Many human factors are also responsible for causes of medication errors, such as stress, fatigue, knowledge and the lack of the requisite knowledge and skills.

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