Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Reimund Serafica

Abstract

A retrospective review of medication errors is presented as a measurement tool. Times of medication errors are separated into categories. The numbers of errors are associated with the numbers of medication administrations. The first data set contains errors that occurred within the first 8 hours of a 12-hour shift and the second data set contains errors that occurred during the last 4 hours of a 12-hour shift.

Data was obtained from a 108 bed critical care hospital in the southeastern United States. A time period will be reviewed between the months of September 2010 until August 2011. All reports of incidence occurring within the given time frame will be included in the data set. No other demographic information was made available.

In this scenario, HA = There is a difference in the rate of medication error between the first 8 hours of a 12-hour shift and the last 4 hours of a 12-hour shift; Ho = There is no difference between the two shift times.

A chi-square test was run to evaluate the data. The measurement of observed data did show that medication errors occurred at a higher rate than anticipated in the last 4 hours of the shift however with p .060 the analysis failed to reach the accepted value of < .050 so the analysis failed to reject the null hypothesis.

In conclusion the incident of medication error is a factor affecting patients in the healthcare setting. Fatigue and longer working hours have been associated with higher rate of incident. Evidence was presented representing this rate of error. Even though the results were not significantly sufficient to satisfy the analysis, further expansion of this work may lead to evidence that may promote a reduction in the occurrence of medication errors.

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