Agent-Based Modeling Simulation of Nurse Medication Administration Errors : CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing

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Agent-Based Modeling Simulation of Nurse Medication Administration Errors

Berg, Thomas A. PhD, MBA; Li, Xueping PhD; Sawhney, Rupy PhD; Wyatt, Tami PhD

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CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing 39(4):p 187-197, April 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000684


It has been 20 years since the National Academy of Medicine released its report, “To Err Is Human,” which shocked the healthcare community on the pervasiveness of medical error. While errors in medication administration are a significant contributor to medical error, research seeking to understand the complex systems nature and occurrence of medication administration error is limited. Computer modeling is increasingly being used in the healthcare industry to assess the impact of changes made to healthcare processes. The objective of the study is to evaluate the use of agent-based modeling, a type of computer modeling that allows the simulation of virtual individuals and their behavior, to simulate nurse performance in the medication administration process. The model explores the effect of Just-in-Time information, as an intervention, on the occurrence of medication error. The model demonstrated significant utility in understanding the interplay of the system elements of the nurse medication administration process. Therefore this approach, using systems-level computer simulation such as agent-based models, can help administrators understand the effects of changes to the medication administration process as they work to reduce errors and increase performance.

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