Article Text

Download PDFPDF
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}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

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.


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 …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.