Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study examines nature and prevalence of errors in patient care

22.11.2004


Cites complex and distracting work environment



A University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing study provides the first detailed description of the nature and prevalence of errors by hospital staff nurses. During a 28-day period, 393 registered nurses kept a detailed journal of their errors and prevented errors, referred to as near-errors. Thirty percent of the nurses reported at least one error during the 28-day period, and 33 percent reported a near-error. Although the majority of errors and near-errors were medication-related, the nurses also reported a number of procedural, transcription and charting errors. "Given the prevalence of other types of errors, an exclusive focus on medication administration errors, often a typical practice, may miss many important and potentially hazardous situations," said Ann E. Rogers, an associate professor in Penn’s School of Nursing.

The findings are presented this month in the journal Applied Nursing Research and are derived from a previous study that examined staff nurse fatigue and patient safety. "Although nurses pride themselves on being able to juggle multiple tasks at once, too many distractions from multiple sources make errors inevitable," Rogers said. "Other reports have shown that a nurse may be interrupted, on average, at least 19 times during a three-hour period by at least 13 different types of sources." Approximately 33 percent of actual medication errors were because of late administration of drugs to patients, which in some cases was due to inadequate numbers of nurses on duty. In one example, a nurse reported a 90-minute delay in giving medications to one patient and a 40-minute delay to another because she could not leave the bedside of a third unstable patient. As hospitalized patients become more ill, with complex care requirements, and the nursing shortage intensifies, such situations may become more common.


Other errors can be attributed to workplace distractions. According to the participants in the study, frequent interruptions from staff, students or even the telephone made administering medications and carrying out other patient-care activities challenging. Procedural errors, such as omitting a routine task or making charting and transcription errors often arise from garbled communication within the immediate work area. While it might be impossible to avoid all distractions, the use of technology such as bar code medication administration systems and paperless charting systems have been shown to reduce errors. But such technologies are not widely used and are not user friendly.

The study itself demonstrates that nurses will report errors when they feel safe and when the reporting system is not burdensome. According to Rogers, it is important to acknowledge the vigilance and astuteness that led to the nurses catching many of their own errors before they reached the patient.

Michele C. Balas, a Penn Nursing doctoral student, and Linda D. Scott, an associate professor from Grand Valley State University, co-authored the study. Funding was provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biosensor allows real-time oxygen monitoring for 'organs-on-a-chip'

21.08.2018 | Medical Engineering

Researchers discover link between magnetic field strength and temperature

21.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

IHP technology ready for space flights

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>