Background Medication safety has been a concern for decades worldwide, but there is still relatively little research about interventions to reduce medicines administration errors in hospitals, especially in resource-restricted settings such as Vietnam. Our large study on the frequency and type of medication errors in Vietnamese hospitals indicated that the highest risk was associated with intravenous medication administration .
Purpose To investigate the effect of intensive training on the frequency of intravenous medicines preparation and administration errors in an urban public hospital in Vietnam.
Materials and Methods This was a controlled intervention study with pre- and post-intervention measurements using a direct observation method, carried out in two critical care units: Intensive Care Unit (ICU – intervention ward), and Post-Surgical Unit (PSU – control ward). The intervention consisted of lectures plus practical ward-based teaching sessions, carried out by a clinical pharmacist and a nurse. In each ward, all intravenous doses prepared and administered by nurses were observed 12 hours per day, on 7 consecutive days, each period.
Results A total of 1294 doses were observed, 718 in ICU and 576 in PSU. Error rate on the intervention ward (ICU) decreased from 62.7% to 52.5% (P = 0.01); preparation errors including wrong dose, deteriorated drug, wrong technique of preparation decreased significantly (p < 0.05). On the control ward (PSU) there was no significant change in error rates (73.8% vs. 73.1%, p = 0.85); almost all preparation error types were similar in both periods (p > 0.05), except for technique errors, which was increased from 15.5% to 25.9% (p < 0.05).
Conclusions Intensive training showed a slight improvement in overall and specific error rates, particularly preparation errors. Further measures are needed to improve patient safety.
EAHP abstract titled: “Errors in medication preparation and administration in Vietnamese hospitals”, by H.T. Nguyen et al,
No conflict of interest.
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