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Electronic medication administration records and nursing administration of medications: An integrative review

  • Snezana Stolic
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Health, University of Southern Queensland, Salisbury Road, Ipswich, Queensland, 4305, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Linda Ng
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Health, University of Southern Queensland, Salisbury Road, Ipswich, Queensland, 4305, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Georgina Sheridan
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Health, University of Southern Queensland, Salisbury Road, Ipswich, Queensland, 4305, Australia
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Problem

      The medication administration process is particularly susceptible to errors due to the error being least likely to be captured before reaching patients. Nurses administer medications as part of everyday practice.

      Aim

      The purpose of this review is to identify if medication error rates are reduced during nursing administration when incorporating electronic medical administration records into medication management.

      Methods

      A systematic review was conducted of six electronic databases to identify original empirical research published between 2007 and 2020. An integrative review method using Strengthening the Report of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines was used to direct this review.

      Findings

      Eighteen original research articles were identified and included in this review. Data were also collected using electronic data retrieval or chart review, incidence reports, or automated algorithms. Eight studies reported reduced medication errors after the implementation of electronic medication administration records, and two reported increases in medication errors. Studies reported between 2.8% and 16% of medication errors during nursing administration.

      Discussion

      Findings are mixed, some reported positive findings and reduction in medication errors, and other studies reported no reduction in medication errors or the introduction of new types of errors. Electronic medication administration records may not be as effective in paediatric and intensive care units and may require further adaptation. Barriers to successive integration of electronic medication errors are equipment, environment, lack of knowledge, and workload.

      Conclusion

      Evidence linking medication administration records use and reducing medication errors and patient safety is weak due to assessment techniques and reporting strategies. More rigorous research is needed.

      Keywords

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