Medication Administration Errors in an Adult Emergency Department of a Tertiary Health Care Facility in Ghana.
J Patient Saf. 2015 Mar 23;
Authors: Acheampong F, Tetteh AR, Anto BP
OBJECTIVES: This study determined the incidence, types, clinical significance, and potential causes of medication administration errors (MAEs) at the emergency department (ED) of a tertiary health care facility in Ghana.
METHODS: This study used a cross-sectional nonparticipant observational technique. Study participants (nurses) were observed preparing and administering medication at the ED of a 2000-bed tertiary care hospital in Accra, Ghana. The observations were then compared with patients' medication charts, and identified errors were clarified with staff for possible causes.
RESULTS: Of the 1332 observations made, involving 338 patients and 49 nurses, 362 had errors, representing 27.2%. However, the error rate excluding "lack of drug availability" fell to 12.8%. Without wrong time error, the error rate was 22.8%. The 2 most frequent error types were omission (n = 281, 77.6%) and wrong time (n = 58, 16%) errors. Omission error was mainly due to unavailability of medicine, 48.9% (n = 177). Although only one of the errors was potentially fatal, 26.7% were definitely clinically severe. The common themes that dominated the probable causes of MAEs were unavailability, staff factors, patient factors, prescription, and communication problems.
CONCLUSIONS: This study gives credence to similar studies in different settings that MAEs occur frequently in the ED of hospitals. Most of the errors identified were not potentially fatal; however, preventive strategies need to be used to make life-saving processes such as drug administration in such specialized units error-free.
PMID: 25803173 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]