Provider risk factors for medication administration error alerts: analyses of a large-scale closed-loop medication administration system using RFID and barcode.
Medication errors are a common source of patient harm. Although most mistakes occur during the prescribing and transcribing stages, errors during the administration process occur frequently as well. Investigators analyzed medication administration data for a hospital that had adopted a closed-loop medication administration system using radio-frequency identification, barcodes, and point-of-care devices. They found a medication administration error alert rate of 1.22% of total medication doses administered. Significant risk factors for alerts included emergency medications, administering medications at nonstandard times, number of doses being given, nurse experience, and working schedule. The authors conclude that the alerts helped mitigate patient harm by preventing medication administration errors.