OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the nursing process of medication administration in terms of safety to identify frequency and characteristics of errors and to identify possible solutions. METHODS: Descriptive analysis data from a blinded observational study of randomly selected episodes of nursing administration medication, for which some 40 parameters each to be observed had been identified. Seventeen nurses and 88 patients from a university hospital in Navarra (Spain) participated. Patients were given 172 drugs. We measured whether errors, active failures, or latent conditions were present during the medication administration process. RESULTS: In 1075 possibilities of errors (the total number of medications administered to the patients multiplied by the processes to be observed), we detected 1 error and 474 active failures. Interestingly, no failures were observed in processes that had already been computerized. CONCLUSIONS: Human behavior modifies the process of medication administration. A change is proposed because several processes and infrastructure-related variables can be improved, thus changing the system and conditions under which nurses work. A specific strategy of change has been proposed and is currently being piloted in a ward. This includes structural modifications and nurse training.
- Drugs error
- Medication administration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health