How Common Are Medication-Related Errors in Home Care?

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In a questionnaire-based study published in Pharmacology, Research & Perspectives that included 485 fully trained nurses of 107 home care services, nearly half of all nursing staff made at least one error within the last year when administering medications.

In the study, 41.6% of nurses reported medication errors within a 12-month period, and 14.8% did not provide an answer. Medication errors experienced by patients include taking the wrong dose or quantity of a particular drug, as well as the omission of a drug or taking unlicensed drugs.

Nurses who had attended medication training within the last 2 years were less likely to make errors.

"The study results underline the need for regularly recurring medication training for nurses to ensure a high level of patient safety—especially in the home care sector, as nurses are the only professional group on-site," said lead author Sandra Strube-Lahmann, RN, MSc, Ph.D., of Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, in Germany.

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