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Double checking the administration of medicines: what is the evidence? A systematic review

Alsulami, Zayed; Conroy, Sharon; Choonara, Imti

Authors

Zayed Alsulami

Sharon Conroy

Imti Choonara

Abstract

Objective To evaluate the evidence for double checking the administration of medicines.

Design A systematic search of six electronic databases—Embase, Medline, British Nursing Index and Archive, CINAHL, National electronic library for Medicines (NeLM) and PsycINFO—for all articles describing double checking of medication and dose calculation, for either dispensing or administration in both adults and children up to and including October 2010.

Results Sixteen articles met the inclusion criteria. There were only three quantitative studies. Only one of these was a randomised controlled clinical trial in a clinical setting. This study showed a statistically significant reduction in the medication error rate from 2.98 (95% CI 2.45 to 3.51) to 2.12 (95% CI 1.69 to 2.55) per 1000 medications administered with double checking. One study reported a reduction in dispensing errors, by a hospital pharmacy, from 9.8 to 6 per year following the introduction of double checking. The majority of the studies were qualitative and involved interviews, focus groups and questionnaires.

Conclusion There is insufficient evidence to either support or refute the practice of double checking the administration of medicines. Clinical trials are needed to establish whether double checking medicines are effective in reducing medication errors.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2012
Journal Archives of Disease in Childhood
Print ISSN 0003-9888
Electronic ISSN 0003-9888,
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 97
Issue 9
Institution Citation Alsulami, Z., Conroy, S., & Choonara, I. (2012). Double checking the administration of medicines: what is the evidence? A systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 97(9), doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-301093
DOI https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2011-301093
Publisher URL http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2012/04/30/archdischild-2011-301093.full
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0




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