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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-24

Errors in prescribing and administration of intravenous anti-infective therapy and preventability by smart pump technology


1 Section of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria; Peninsula Health Frankston Hospital, Pharmacy Department, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2 Peninsula Health Frankston Hospital, Pharmacy Department, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
3 Section of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Aims: The aims of this study were to assess errors that occurred during the prescribing and administration of intravenous (IV) anti-infective therapy with standard infusion devices and to retrospectively determine preventability with smart pump technology. Methods: Data was collected at the Peninsula Health Frankston Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Errors in terms of non-adherence to the hospital's IV prescribing and administra- tion protocols as well as administration and formal prescribing errors were defined. Pre- ventability using the smart pump technology was determined based on a retrospective evaluation. Results: IV medication errors occurred frequently: almost half (42/100) anti-infectives used with standard infusion pump technology were associated with errors. Non-adherence to protocols in prescribing or administration was identified as the most common source for errors (n = 35) followed by administration (n = 12) and prescribing (n = 3) errors. Thirty-two out of 50 (64%) errors including those rated to be most severe were considered to be preventable if smart pump technology had been implemented. Conclusions: Errors happened frequently with the use of standard infusion devices. Errors in terms of non-adherence to protocols/guidelines were the most common and administration was identified as the stage in the medication-use process that is most susceptible to errors. The most severe errors were those likely to be reduced by the implementation of smart pump technology. Factors other than technology have to be emphasized as well, e.g. standardization of doctors' and nurses' practices on the wards in order to reduce errors in the future.


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