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postgraduate thesis: Medication safety in hospitals : medication errors and interventions to improve the medication use process

TitleMedication safety in hospitals : medication errors and interventions to improve the medication use process
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Cheung, BMY
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Samaranayake, N. R.. (2013). Medication safety in hospitals : medication errors and interventions to improve the medication use process. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108672
AbstractMedication errors are an unnecessary threat to patient safety. The aim of this study was to assess the epidemiology of medication errors and to assess the effectiveness of interventions intended to avoid medication errors in a tertiary-care hospital in Hong Kong. The epidemiology of medication errors included the study of the pattern of interception of medication errors and the study of technology-related medication errors using medication incidents reported during years 2006–2010. 34.1% of all medication errors that were reported in the study hospital were not intercepted and 92.4% of all drug administration errors reached the patient. 17.1% of all reported medication errors were technology-related and, most were due to human interaction with technology. The effects of a bar-code assisted medication administration (BCMA) system when used without the support of computerised prescribing (stand-alone), on its users and the dispensing process was studied using direct observations, questionnaires (Likert scale) and interviews. It was found that this system increased the number of dispensing steps from 5 to 8 and dispensing time by 1.9 times. Potential dispensing errors also increased (P<0.001). The perceived usefulness of the technology decreased among pharmacy staff (P=0.008) after implementation and they (N=16) felt that the system offered less benefit to the dispensing process (8/16) without the support of computerised prescribing. Nurses (N=10) felt that the stand-alone BCMA system was useful in improving the accuracy of drug administration (8/10). Avoiding the use of inappropriate abbreviations in prescriptions will help to reduce medication errors. Therefore the effectiveness of a ‘Do Not Use’ list (a list of error-prone abbreviations used in the study hospital) and attitudes of health care professionals on using abbreviations in prescriptions was studied using prescription review and questionnaires respectively. The use of abbreviations included in the ‘Do Not Use’ list decreased significantly (P<0.001) after its introduction but other unapproved abbreviations to denote drug names and instructions were commonly used. 96% of doctors, and all pharmacists and nurses, believed that avoiding inappropriate abbreviations will help to reduce medication errors. The use of abbreviations in prescriptions and attitudes of pharmacists in the study hospital was compared with a different medical system to determine the appropriateness of developing a universal error-prone abbreviation list. It was found that the types and frequencies of using inappropriate abbreviations vary among different medical systems. In conclusion, additional interventions such as technological interventions are needed to minimise drug administration errors, but proper planning and careful monitoring are needed to avoid unintended errors when using technologies. Implementing a stand-alone BCMA system aimed at reducing drug administration errors may affect the dispensing process. Therefore effects of a technology on all related processes need to be considered before implementation, and monitored after implementation. The introduction of a ‘Do Not Use’ list is effective in reducing inappropriate abbreviations in prescriptions and most health care professionals agree that avoiding inappropriate abbreviations may help to reduce medication errors. However, formulating in-house error-prone and standard abbreviation lists in hospitals, continuous updating of the lists and frequent reminders to prescribers are recommended.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectMedication errors
Dept/ProgramMedicine
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193507

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorCheung, BMY-
dc.contributor.authorSamaranayake, Nithushi Rajitha-
dc.date.accessioned2014-01-10T09:45:56Z-
dc.date.available2014-01-10T09:45:56Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationSamaranayake, N. R.. (2013). Medication safety in hospitals : medication errors and interventions to improve the medication use process. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108672-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193507-
dc.description.abstractMedication errors are an unnecessary threat to patient safety. The aim of this study was to assess the epidemiology of medication errors and to assess the effectiveness of interventions intended to avoid medication errors in a tertiary-care hospital in Hong Kong. The epidemiology of medication errors included the study of the pattern of interception of medication errors and the study of technology-related medication errors using medication incidents reported during years 2006–2010. 34.1% of all medication errors that were reported in the study hospital were not intercepted and 92.4% of all drug administration errors reached the patient. 17.1% of all reported medication errors were technology-related and, most were due to human interaction with technology. The effects of a bar-code assisted medication administration (BCMA) system when used without the support of computerised prescribing (stand-alone), on its users and the dispensing process was studied using direct observations, questionnaires (Likert scale) and interviews. It was found that this system increased the number of dispensing steps from 5 to 8 and dispensing time by 1.9 times. Potential dispensing errors also increased (P<0.001). The perceived usefulness of the technology decreased among pharmacy staff (P=0.008) after implementation and they (N=16) felt that the system offered less benefit to the dispensing process (8/16) without the support of computerised prescribing. Nurses (N=10) felt that the stand-alone BCMA system was useful in improving the accuracy of drug administration (8/10). Avoiding the use of inappropriate abbreviations in prescriptions will help to reduce medication errors. Therefore the effectiveness of a ‘Do Not Use’ list (a list of error-prone abbreviations used in the study hospital) and attitudes of health care professionals on using abbreviations in prescriptions was studied using prescription review and questionnaires respectively. The use of abbreviations included in the ‘Do Not Use’ list decreased significantly (P<0.001) after its introduction but other unapproved abbreviations to denote drug names and instructions were commonly used. 96% of doctors, and all pharmacists and nurses, believed that avoiding inappropriate abbreviations will help to reduce medication errors. The use of abbreviations in prescriptions and attitudes of pharmacists in the study hospital was compared with a different medical system to determine the appropriateness of developing a universal error-prone abbreviation list. It was found that the types and frequencies of using inappropriate abbreviations vary among different medical systems. In conclusion, additional interventions such as technological interventions are needed to minimise drug administration errors, but proper planning and careful monitoring are needed to avoid unintended errors when using technologies. Implementing a stand-alone BCMA system aimed at reducing drug administration errors may affect the dispensing process. Therefore effects of a technology on all related processes need to be considered before implementation, and monitored after implementation. The introduction of a ‘Do Not Use’ list is effective in reducing inappropriate abbreviations in prescriptions and most health care professionals agree that avoiding inappropriate abbreviations may help to reduce medication errors. However, formulating in-house error-prone and standard abbreviation lists in hospitals, continuous updating of the lists and frequent reminders to prescribers are recommended.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshMedication errors-
dc.titleMedication safety in hospitals : medication errors and interventions to improve the medication use process-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5108672-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineMedicine-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5108672-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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