Medication errors: what hospital reports reveal about staff views

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Abstract

Nurses are generally responsible for administering medication to patients and are, therefore, able to monitor or report medication errors. However, nurses can sometimes be responsible for causing errors, so it is important that they understand the consequences of these mistakes and how to prevent them. This article reports the results of a study that analysed the views of nurses, pharmacists and physicians at a Finnish university hospital on the prevention of medication errors. The findings suggest errors can be prevented by improving work environments and allowing healthcare staff, particularly nurses, to concentrate on the task at hand when dealing with medicines.

Marja Härkänen and colleagues examine a study to help nurses reduce the risk of making mistakes when administering medicines to patients

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