Läkemedelssäkerhet – hur skall läkemedelsförråd på en slutenvårdsavdelning organiseras på ett optimalt sätt?
Many patients cared for by the Swedish healthcare system are harmed due to drug mix-ups. It is thus pivotal to identify methods that can reduce the risks. One significant contributing factor to drug mix-ups is the way in which medications are stored in the clinical wards.
The aim of the present study was to identify published methods that reduce the risks for medication errors in a clinical ward setting. Special emphasis was set on human factors associated with how prescribed drugs are picked from the shelf, handled, and dispensed.
The literature searches were performed in the Embase, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL databases as well as in a number of other HTA databases. Two librarians conducted the primary literature searches and independently read and sorted the articles before sending selected articles to the project group for assessment.
A third information specialist completed the literature searches in the HTA databases and in the biomedical database Embase. The members of the project group read articles independently and consensus was used to decide which articles should be included in the report.
Two studies were identified which reported on the effect of organization of medication storages on rates and types of medication errors. Both studies found medication errors to be common.
They also concluded that when drugs where issued and administered at the patient’s bedside they were less likely to be omitted and more likely to be given on time.
There is at present insufficient evidence to recommend methods of storage that might decrease medication errors in a ward setting. This calls for further research in the field.