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  1. Pullam, Trinity MSN, RN, CNE
  2. Russell, Cynthia L. PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. White-Lewis, Sharon PhD, RN


Background: Medication administration timing error (MATE) leads to poor medication efficacy, harm, and death. Frequency of MATE is understudied.


Purpose: To determine MATE frequency, and characteristics and quality of reporting studies.


Methods: A systematic review of articles between 1999 and 2021 was conducted using the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, ProQuest, and PubMed databases. Articles were scored for quality using the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) checklist.


Results: Initially, 494 articles were screened; 23 were included in this review. MATE was defined as administration beyond 60 minutes before or after the scheduled time in 13 (57%) of the included studies. Measurement procedures included data abstraction, self-report, and observation. Frequency of MATE was 1% to 72.6%. Moderate study quality was found in 78% of articles.


Conclusion: Research on MATE is characterized by inconsistent definitions, measurements procedures, and calculation techniques. High-quality studies are lacking. Many research improvement opportunities exist.