Medicine administration errors and their severity in secondary care older persons’ ward: a multi-centre observational study
Article first published online: 6 JUL 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 21, Issue 13-14, pages 1806–1815, July 2012
How to Cite
Kelly, J. and Wright, D. (2012), Medicine administration errors and their severity in secondary care older persons’ ward: a multi-centre observational study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 21: 1806–1815. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03760.x
- Issue published online: 4 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 6 JUL 2011
- Accepted for publication: 23 February 2011
- medicine administration errors;
Aim and objectives. To assess the severity of medicine administration errors to older patients.
Background. Severity of medicine administration errors has been determined in a variety of settings but not in care-of-older-person wards, which this study aims to do.
Design. Undisguised observational study.
Participants. Sixty-two nurses were observed administering oral medicines to 625 patients.
Interventions. Data were collected on the preparation and administration of oral medicines. Thirty-five cases of error were selected and analysed for their severity.
Results. In the 65 drug rounds observed 2129 potential drug administrations were made to 625 patients, of which 817 doses (38·4%) were given incorrectly (95% CI = 36·3–40·4). The overall mean harm score of the 35 incidents analysed was 4·1 (range 1·1–8·6, SD 1·8) on a scale of 0–10.
Conclusions. The number and severity of MAEs observed is high compared with previous studies.
Relevance to clinical practice. There is a need to decrease the number and severity of MAEs, by increasing nurse awareness and error reporting.