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Nursing issues
Medication errors may be reduced by double-checking method
  1. Sarah Berdot1,2,3,
  2. Brigitte Sabatier1,2
  1. 1 Department of Pharmacy, Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou, Paris, Île-de-France, France
  2. 2 Equipe 22, UMR 1138 INSERM, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, Île-de-France, France
  3. 3 Clinical Pharmacy Department, EA4123, Université Paris Sud, Faculty of Pharmacy, Châtenay-Malabry, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sarah Berdot, Department of Pharmacy, Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou, Paris 75015, France; sarah.berdot{at}aphp.fr

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Commentary on: Douglass AM, Elder J, Watson RA, et al. Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effect of a Double Check on the Detection of Medication Errors. Ann Emerg Med. 2018 Jan;71(1):74–82.e1.

Implications for practice and research

  • Double-checking is used in many hospitals and seems to be effective, but more evaluations are needed.

  • Simulation studies allow the testing of interventions prior to implementation in practice.

  • Administration error rates remain high, and new studies, with higher statistical power, are needed.

Context

Administration errors can be caused by prescription mistakes (dose errors) and/or dispensing errors (storage mistakes).1 Several interventions have been developed to reduce medication errors, such as barcode-assisted medication administration (BCMA) systems2 and the double-check. Double-checking requires two qualified health professionals to check the medication. The majority of publications focused on professionals’ beliefs concerning double-check effect. A systematic review published in 2012 …

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