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Improving the safety and efficiency of nurse medication rounds through the introduction of an automated dispensing cabinet.


ABSTRACT: Information technology (IT) systems are being utilised with increasing frequency at the prescribing and dispensing stage of the medicines-use process in UK hospitals. However, much less development has taken place with regard to the implementation of IT systems at the administration stage of medicines-use. A technology that has been implemented widely at the administration stage in North American hospitals is the automated dispensing cabinet (ADC), which has been shown to reduce nurse medication administration errors and reduce the time that nurses spend administering medication. The current project was undertaken to assess whether these benefits would be realised with the introduction of an ADC on an inpatient ward in a UK mental health hospital. Nurses were observed administering medication before and after the implementation of an ADC on a ward at East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). The findings from these observations showed that the use of the ADC led to a reduction in the medication administration error rate from 8.9% to 7.2%; however, this reduction was solely accounted for by a reduction in errors of negligible clinical severity. The types of administration errors noted after implementation of the ADC remained largely unchanged from beforehand. The ADC was found to reduce the amount of time that nurses spent administering medication from 2.94 min per dose to 2.37 min per dose. It is estimated that this reduction could generate around 66 min of additional free nursing time per ward per day. As a standalone device, the ADC was found to improve the efficiency of the medicines-use process, but had little meaningful effect on medication administration error rate at ELFT. However, it could be anticipated that additional benefit with regard to reducing medication administration errors may be demonstrated if the ADC was used in combination with other IT systems, such as electronic prescribing.

SUBMITTER: Cottney A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4645698 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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