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Medication Administration Process Assessment: Applying Lessons Learned From Commercial Aviation

Donahue, Moreen DNP, RN, NEA-BC; Brown, Joseph P. MAS, ATP; Fitzpatrick, Joyce J. PhD, RN, FAAN

Journal of Nursing Administration: February 2009 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 77-83
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e318195a5e6

Medication administration is a major safety issue for patients and providers. The authors describe a commercial aviation-based system safety assessment conducted on the medication administration process for a community teaching hospital in the northeast United States. Processes on 2 medical units and 1 surgical unit were assessed. A sampling of qualitative outcomes is presented in a risk prioritization framework, along with practical recommendations predicated on the valuable lessons learned in commercial aviation.

Authors' Affiliations: Chief Nurse Executive, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services (Dr Donahue), Danbury Hospital, Connecticut; President (Mr Brown), The Salus Network, Goshen, New York; Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing (Dr Fitzpatrick), Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Corresponding author: Dr Donahue, Danbury Hospital, 24 Hospital Ave, Danbury, CT 06810 (

Disclosure: Mr Brown is the president of the Salus Network consulting firm discussed in this article.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.