Jun 042015

ArArticle_NPSe interruptions during the medication round an issue in your aged care home? When a medication round is occurring, what risks do interruptions pose and how can they reduce the safety of medicine administration?

Interruptions to nurses have been implicated as a source of error during a number of stages within the medication process, especially the preparation and administration of medications. Interventions designed to reduce these interruptions have included wearing of specific aprons by staff administering the medications requesting quiet and not to be interrupted, as well as ‘no interruption zones’ for the preparation of medication. But do these strategies work? Do they result in other issues?

Interesting in one study the vest requesting quiet and do not disturb was shown to also be interpreted to the resident to whom the medicines were administered and consequently impacted greatly on conversation and communication with the resident in accordance to their needs and preferences. It also demonstrated that as these vests were often bright colours they quickly drew the attention of visitors to the staff administering medications and consequently saw them being sought out to discuss their questions or concerns.

The article also asks the question are interruptions the issue or is it distractions and other sources of stimulation in the surrounding environment the issue and consequently impacts on medicine administration safety?

Explore the impact of medication interruptions in the following article Interventions to reduce interruptions during medication preparation and administration by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQH), by downloading the pdf file here.

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