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Keywords

Adverse drug events, Bar-code medication administration, High-alert medication, High-risk, Personalized Bar-Code Identification

 

Authors

  1. THOMAS, MARIA DNP, MSN, RN

Abstract

An effective intervention to decrease medication errors related to high-risk, high-alert medications is to implement double checks and second verification using the five rights of medication administration. To evaluate the effectiveness and use of the Personalized Bar-Code Identification card in verifying high-risk, high-alert medications, the High-Risk, High-Alert Medication Verification Audit Tool was used to collect data from the medical records of patients who received high-risk, high-alert medications in four ICUs. Data were collected for administered high-risk, high-alert medication, primary registered nurses who administered the high-risk, high-alert medication, and secondary registered nurses who verified the medication. The percentage of medications that were "not verified," "Personalized Bar-Code Identification verified," and "verified" using a method other than the Personalized Bar-Code Identification was calculated and compared using Z tests for two proportions. The percentage of Personalized Bar-Code Identification-verified medications (83.5%) was significantly higher than the percentage of medications that were not verified (10.9%) (Z = 38.43, P < .05). Also, the difference between the proportion of the Personalized Bar-Code Identification-verified medications and those that were verified using another method (5.6%) was significant (Z = 41.42, P < .05). The results show that nurses generally tend to follow the standardized procedure for verifying high-risk, high-alert medications in the four ICUs.