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Interrupting a Nursing Home Employee May Lead to Medication Errors

A new study has shown that nurses are more likely to commit medication errors when they are interrupted while they work. This study is extremely applicable to nursing homes, where distractions are an everyday occurrence. This is the first study to show that interruptions and medication errors are linked. According to the study published by Bloomberg Businessweek, the majority of these errors are minor and would have little to no effect on a patient. Yet, 2.7 percent of the medication errors were clinical and considered major errors. These errors oftentimes included failing to check a patient’s identification while administering a drug or administering medication at the wrong time. In a nursing home, it is imperative to ensure that a patient’s medication chart matches their identification before administering their drugs. The study did offer one solution to solve these medication errors. It stated that nurses should be given a “protected hour” during which they are only to focus on medication administration and do not have to take on tasks such as answer phone calls or pages.

This study also highlights the need for sufficient nursing home staff in all facilities. Certified nurse’s should be able to focus on the task at hand without dealing with other distractions. As studies show, a nursing home that is sufficiently staffed is less likely to make medication errors. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a medication error at a nursing home, please consult a Chicago nursing home lawyer. To read more about the nursing home errors, please click the link.