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Title: A study of the prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines with reference to medication errors in the Armed Forces Hospital, Kuwait : an experimental investigation to determine the accuracy of the prescribing process, dispensing process and nurse administration of medication as compared with the prescriptions of physicians in the Armed Forces Hospital in Kuwait
Author: Al-Hameli, Fahad M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 321X
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2010
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Introduction: Medication errors are a major cause of illness and hospitalization of patients throughout the world. This study examines the situation regarding medication errors in the Armed Forces Hospital, Kuwait since no literature exists of any such studies for this country. Several types of potential errors were studied by physicians, nurses and pharmacists. Their attitudes to the commission of errors and possible consequences were surveyed using questionnaires. Additionally, patient medical records were reviewed for possible errors arising from such actions such as the co-administration of interacting drugs. Methods: This study included direct observations of physicians during the prescribing process, pharmacists while they dispensed medications and nurses as they distributed and administered drugs to patients. Data were collected and compiled on Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and analyses were performed using SPSS. Where applicable, results were reported as counts and/ or percentages of error rates. Nurses, pharmacists and physicians survey questionnaires: From the 200 staff sent questionnaires a total of 149 respondents comprising nurses (52.3%), physicians (32.2%) and pharmacists (16.1%) returned the questionnaires a total response rate of 74.5%. All responses were analyzed and compared item-by-item to see if there were any significant differences between the three groups for each questionnaire item. All three groups were most in agreement about their perception of hospital administration as making patient safety a top priority with regard to communicating with staff and taking action when medication errors were reported (all means 3.0 and p > 0.05). Pharmacists were most assured of administration support when an error was reported whereas nurses were least likely to see the administration as being supportive ( p < 0.001), and were more afraid of the negative consequences associated with reporting of medication errors (p = 0.026). Although nurses were generally less likely to perceive themselves as being able to communicate freely regarding reporting of errors compared to pharmacists there was no significant difference between the two groups. Both however were significantly different from physicians (p< 0.001). Physicians had the most favorable response to perceiving new technology as helping to create a safer environment for patients and to the full utilization of such technologies within the institution in order to help prevent medical errors. Scenario response - Responses to two scenarios outlining possible consequences, should a staff member commit a medication error, tended to be very similar among the three groups and followed the same general trend in which the later the error was discovered and the more grievous the patient harm, the more severe would be the consequences to the staff member. Interestingly, physicians saw themselves as less likely to suffer consequences and nurses saw themselves as more likely to suffer consequences should they have committed a medication error. All three groups were more likely to see themselves as facing dismissal from their job if the patient were to die. RESULTS OF ALL THREE OBSERVATIONS: Result of Nursing observations: For 1124 doses studied, 194 resulted in some form of error. The error rate was 17.2% and the accuracy was 82.8%. The commonest errors in a descending order were: wrong time, wrong drug, omission, wrong strength/ dose, wrong route, wrong instruction and wrong technique. No wrong drug form was actually administered in the observational period. These were the total number of errors observed for the entire month period of the study. IV Result of Pharmacist observations: A total of 2472 doses were observed during the one month period. Observations were done for 3 hours per day each day that the study was carried out. The study showed that there were 118 errors detected which were in the following categories respectively: 52 no instructions, 28 wrong drug/unordered, 21 wrong strength/dose, ignored/omission 13, shortage of medication 3 and expired date 1. Result of Prescribers in Chart review for drug-drug interactions: The analysis of the drug-drug interactions showed that out of a total of 1000 prescriptions, 124 had drug-drug interactions. None were found to fall into the highest severity rating i.e. 4 (contraindicated). Only twenty-one interactions were rated 3 (major), 87 interactions were rated moderate and 15 interactions were rated minor according the modified Micromedex scale. Patient education: All health care such as physician, pharmacist, and nurses have a responsibility to educate patient about their medication use and their health conditions to protecting them from any error can occur by wrong using drugs. Conclusion This study has contributed to the field of medication errors by providing data for a Middle Eastern country for the very first time. The views and opinions of the nurses, pharmacists and physicians should be considered to enhance the systems to minimize any errors in the future.
Supervisor: Naylor, Robert. ; Naylor, Ian. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Prescriber ; Pharmacist ; Nurse ; Prescription ; Patient medication ; Potential cause ; Medication errors ; Physician ; Armed Forces Hospital, Kuwait