Enter your Email address:
Wolters Kluwer Health may email you for journal alerts and information, but is committed
to maintaining your privacy and will not share your personal information without
You currently have no recent searches
Section Editor(s): Pfeifer, Gail MA, RN
Nurses and pharmacists keep errors from reaching patients.
A new study exploring the origins of physicians' medication errors in England found that physicians, particularly younger ones, rely on both nurses and pharmacists to keep these mistakes from reaching patients. The December 2009 report was commissioned by the General Medical Council, the independent regulator of physicians in the United Kingdom. Researchers looked at 19 hospitals, finding more than 11,000 errors out of approximately 124,000 medication orders over a week's time. The reported overall cause of error was the absence of a "safety culture," including busy and stressful working conditions, violations of prescribing rules, and miscommunication. Specific errors included assuming that nurses would be aware of and point out information on conditions like patient allergies or other medications the patient was receiving.
This reliance on nurses as a safety net has been documented in the United States as well. A 1995 JAMA study showed that nurses were the practitioners most likely to intercept physicians' medication errors. Almost half of the errors discovered in the study were caught, and of those, nurses were responsible for finding 86%. Linda Flynn, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore, has studied what tasks nurses perform to catch these errors, identifying four primary ones: independently checking medication records, questioning the rationale for drugs, requesting that physicians rewrite illegible orders, and educating patients and families regarding medications. The likelihood of nurses performing these procedures hinged on how supportive the practice environment was and how frequently the nurses were interrupted while performing their job duties, she said. (See "An End to Interruptions: Nurses Preventing Medication Errors" at AJN Off the Charts: http://bit.ly/1NwC2l.)
© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.
Colleague's E-mail is Invalid
Your Name: (optional)
Separate multiple e-mails with a (;).
Thought you might appreciate this item(s) I saw at AJN The American Journal of Nursing.
Send a copy to your email
Your message has been successfully sent to your colleague.
Some error has occurred while processing your request. Please try after some time.
An Existing Folder
A New Folder
The item(s) has been successfully added to "".
Login with your LWW Journals username and password.
Username or Email:
Enter and submit the email address you registered with. An email with instructions to reset your password will be sent to that address.
Link to reset your password has been sent to specified email address.
What does "Remember me" mean?
By checking this box, you'll stay logged in for
days or until you logout. You'll get easier access to your articles, collections,
media, and all your other content, even if you close your browser or shut down your
To protect your most sensitive data and activities (like changing your password),
we'll ask you to re-enter your password when you access these services.
What if I'm on a computer that I share with others?
If you're using a public computer or you share this computer with others, we recommend
that you uncheck the "Remember me" box.
Save my selection