Drug rounds danger highlighted
Published on 25 January 2012 12:30 PM
Care home nurses and care assistants performing drug rounds have to be shielded from interruption to improve safety with 90% of patients being exposed regularly to drug administration errors, a study has concluded.
Half of these errors are judged to be serious, said the authors of the study by the universities of the West of England and Warwick. They said high rates of mistakes result in a 'serious safety issue'.
Nine-tenths of residents were exposed to at least one mistake in the study, most commonly being given drugs at the wrong time, particularly in attempts to give the drugs too early when they should be given every four hours.
Lack of time and interruptions, rather than lack of training, were the major causes of drug administration mistakes, said the authors who looked at 13 residential and four nursing homes around England.
The assessment involved 'real time' monitoring of all drug rounds for 345 older patients using a new barcode medication administration system. A potential looming error was highlighted and the nurse or care assistant alerted.
Copyright Press Association 2012