A prospective three-step intervention study to prevent medication errors in drug handling in paediatric care

Each year, the United States emergency department treats up to 158,520 children for adverse drug effects. According to previous studies, up to 21$ of these are caused by medication errors. In this study, researchers performed a prospective intervention study in the University of Heidelsberg’s children hospital. 18 beds were systematically studied through a three-step intervention to prevent medication errors in the drug-handling processes.

Each step of the intervention was directed at different causes of errors. After three interventions, there was a significant decrease in the frequency of errors performed by the nurses, from 91% to 26%. There was also a decrease from 88% to 49% in the number of patients who were exposed to at least one medication error. It is evident that the three step intervention decreased the amount of medication errors in the hospital setting.

This study is important and interesting because while performing pediatric care, it is necessary to be certain of what medications the patient needs administered. Implementation of this three-step intervention in other hospitals around the world will decrease the amount of emergency visits children take. It is worth it in the end to take the extra precautions to reassure that the medication being administered to the patient is correct.

Niemann D, Bertsche A, et al. A prospective three-step intervention study to prevent medication errors in drug handling in paediatric care. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2015;24:101-14.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocn.12592/full

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