Interruptions during nurses' drug rounds in surgical wards: observational study
Article first published online: 9 APR 2009
© 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Risk, Safety and Reliability Issue editors: David Newbold and Moira Attree
Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 185–192, March 2009
How to Cite
PALESE, A., SARTOR, A., COSTAPERARIA, G. and BRESADOLA, V. (2009), Interruptions during nurses' drug rounds in surgical wards: observational study. Journal of Nursing Management, 17: 185–192. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2934.2007.00835.x
- Issue published online: 9 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 9 APR 2009
- Accepted for publication: 12 October 2007
- drug round;
- errors in drug administration;
- patient safety
Aims The purpose of the study was to examine the frequency and perceived risk of interruptions to nurses during drug rounds in seven Italian surgical wards.
Background Management of drug therapy is an integral part of the clinical role of nurses. Many errors are caused by interruptions to which the nurse is subjected during the drug rounds. However, the frequency of interruptions to nurses during drug rounds has not yet been documented.
Materials and methods An observational study design was developed: (1) 56 randomized drug rounds, eight for each ward included, were observed and (2) 28 convenience samples of observed nurses were interviewed.
Results The administration of a total of 945 medications was observed, an average of 2.2 per patient being treated: 298 interruptions were observed (one for every 3.2 drugs given). Ten different categories of interruption emerged. The highest risk of error as a result of interruption perceived by these nurses was related to the management of telephone calls.
Implications for nursing management Many of the interruptions as a result of the organization of work could be avoided: one organizational priority should be to create a calm atmosphere for administering drugs. Ways to develop a calm atmosphere are discussed.