Medication error has been a severe patient safety issue in most healthcare settings. Medication errors have had detrimental effects on the quality of life and health of patients under care. Medication errors have been the main cause of adverse drug events that have resulted in substantial consequences, including patient harm, additional use of resources and time in the provision of care, as well as unnecessary admissions and emergencies (Kavanagh, 2017). These adverse consequences have influenced the patient’s satisfaction and health status and contributed to the death. Considering the high frequency of medication errors and patient harm, nurses have to focus on evidence and research that best helps reduce medication errors since prevention is a global priority in the healthcare system.
Medication error is considered avoidable harm that may lead to unsuitable medication and patient harm while undergoing medication. These errors happen at any stage when the physician describes a medication and when the patient begins their medication. The evidence obtained about medication errors and strategies to eliminate medication errors can enhance clinical reasoning and positively impact nursing practice outcomes (Lapkin et al., 2017). Using relevant and reliable evidence-based findings on medication errors is essential in limit medication error occurrence and developing error elimination strategies through effective understanding of the nature of the medication errors.
During evidence research, physicians and nurses tend to search through different sources, databases, and the internet to obtain relevant data used in evidence-based practice (Grove and Gray, 2018). However, not all sources that are obtained are recommended for use in evidence-based practice due to various factors linked to the source’s credibility. Gathering credible evidence demands identifying reliable sources. The ability to determine the credibility of resources such as websites, journals, and articles requires an in-depth understanding of objectivity, currency, purpose, and authority. For instance, examining whether a source is peer-reviewed is a good way of evaluating it based on these factors.
Timeliness is essential in determining the credibility of a resource. It is important to ensure that the resources are recent enough for the topic (not more than five years). Checking when the website was the last update offers a valuable clue on the accuracy and currency of information. For instance, if the research focuses on medication error, the most recent information is essential in evidence-based practice. Examining the documentation of the information, such as whether it is from an author or organization, can help determine whether the publication is reliable. Evaluating the relevance of the article or website to the topic can help determine the source’s reliability. For instance, the summary of an article can help in checking the relevance of the information presented.
The range of consequences from medication errors run from unnoticeable to noticeable effects such as death. The occurrence of medication errors has increased the healthcare cost to the providers and the patients. Medication errors have also resulted in high turnover and low job satisfaction among nurses that commit medication errors. These consequences have increasingly affected the entire healthcare system. Sources used will offer recent evidence, relevant and non-biased sources, and target nursing interventions that will reduce the occurrences of medication errors. Nursing databases such as PubMed and Cochrane will be resourceful to acquire credible sources linked to medication errors. The first article is by Mostafa, Sabri, El-Anwar, and Shaheen (2020), who focused on evaluating the influence of pharmacist-led educational intervention in lowering treatment errors done by nurses in emergency hospitals. This was a pre-post-interventional study that was done in an emergency hospital through the use of direct observations to detect medication errors. The severity and rate of medication errors were examined before and after the implementation of educational tools. The pharmacist interventions led to decreased medication errors due to improved nurses’ drug awareness and knowledge.
The second article was from Cochrane. Khalil et al., (2017) identified structural, professional, and organizational interventions that can help in lowering medication errors. Professional skills and competency, the organizational culture of safety, and organizational support were considered vital interventions that can help in lowering medication errors in the nursing practice. Another source was identified from Pubmed. Berdot et al., (2016) identified interventions that could lower the medication errors among the inpatients. The study offered interventions that could be prevented through training linked interventions such as interactive CD-ROM programs, simulation-based learning, dedicated medication nurses, technology-based interventions, and pharmacist-led training programs.
Incorporating credible evidence into the Evidence-Based Practice Model ensures that nurses are updated about the new medical protocols and interventions for effective patient care. Using credible data on the Evidence-Based Practice Model enables the nurses to build their knowledge and lowers the gap between practice, research, and education in addressing medication errors. Additionally, nurses rely on the evidence-based practice model to support their clinical decision-making (Grove and Gray, 2018). Therefore, incorporating credible evidence on the Evidence-Based Practice Model closes the gap in knowledge, quality data, and information for clinical decision-making. For instance, obtaining sources from the Cochrane database can be effective in the EBP model since articles from Cochrane offer nurses with registers of research that offer valuable information.
The evidence-based practice models have been utilized to enable the nurses to move evidence into practice. Selecting an EBP model for implementation of evidence-based practice changes requires identifying the clinical or patient safety issue, gathering enough evidence, evaluation and critical appraisal, implementation of the practice change, and evaluating the practice change outcomes. Evaluation tools can be used to review the EBP models since it offers guidelines and appropriate direction, steps, and flow of practice. The evaluation process should ensure that the members have a clear understanding and knowledge of using the EBP model for practice change. For instance, the lowa model of EBP has been utilized in several clinical settings for quality improvement with research using algorithms that nurses find understandable. Using a model for evidence-based practice change will enable the nursing department to improved focus on their inadequate personnel and fiscal resources for vital EBP activities.
In summation, the root causes of medication errors are many, which brings the need for multiple strategies that are needed to reduce the medical errors. The relevance and credibility of resources and evidence offer accurate and reliable information used in clinical decision-making and healthcare practices linked to medication errors. Nurses use credible sources and evidence in evidence-based practices and interventions for better clinical practices. Using evidence-based practice and credible sources in clinical settings will ensure that the clinical setting is safe for nurses and patients due to reduced medication errors.
Berdot, S., Roudot, M., Schramm, C., Katsahian, S., Durieux, P., & Sabatier, B. (2016). Interventions to reduce nurses’ medication administration errors in inpatient settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 53, 342- 350
Grove, S. K., & Gray, J. R. (2018). Understanding Nursing Research E-Book: Building an Evidence-Based Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Kavanagh, C. (2017). Medication governance: preventing errors and promoting patient safety. British Journal of Nursing, 26(3), 159-165.
Khalil, H., Bell, B., Chambers, H., Sheikh, A., & Avery, A. J. (2017). Professional, structural and organizational interventions in primary care for reducing medication errors. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (10).
Lapkin, S., Levett‐Jones, T., Chenoweth, L., & Johnson, M. (2016). The effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce medication administration errors: a synthesis of findings from systematic reviews. Journal of nursing management, 24(7), 845-858
Mostafa, L. S., Sabri, N. A., El-Anwar, A. M., & Shaheen, S. M. (2020). Evaluation of pharmacist-led educational interventions to reduce medication errors in emergency hospitals: a new insight into patient care. Journal of Public Health, 42(1), 169-174.