Impact of the Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) System on Medication Administration Errors
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Review StatusNot Applicable (See Review Type)
Repository Posting Date2019-08-30T17:03:26Z
Author(s)Davis, Mary P.
Author DetailsMary P. Davis, PhD, RN, CPHQ
Lead Author Sigma AffliationBeta Mu
Level of EvidenceObservational
Research ApproachQuantitative Research
Medication errors are the second most frequent cause of injury among all types of medical errors (Leape, et al., 1991). Of concern to nursing practice, medication administration errors (MAE) are second only to ordering errors (Bates, Cullen, et al., 1995). The introduction of information technology designed to promote safe medication practice, such as the Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) system, offers new opportunities for reducing MAE. BCMA was developed to improve patient safety, improve documentation of medication administration, decrease medication errors, and capture medication accountability data. The overall goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of BCMA on medication administration errors: wrong patient, medication, dose, time, and route. Rogers’ (1995) theory, organizational diffusion of innovations, provided the study’s framework. A descriptive comparative design examined incidence of MAEs before (Time 1) and after implementation (Time 2) of BCMA on eight units in one medical center. MAE incidence was calculated using MAE and patient-days data. Nurse adherence to BCMA usage procedure was assessed with a questionnaire created for the study. Findings indicated that total MAEs increased from Time 1 to Time 2, however, wrong patient and wrong dose errors decreased. There was a statistically significant (p < 0.05) increase in wrong route errors at Time 2. Comparing these findings with previous research demonstrated a diversity of methods, limiting conclusions. Nurse adherence findings indicated high overall adherence. However, completion of certain steps was hindered by software, equipment, or the work environment. Study findings were significant to nursing, informatics and patient safety research. Findings demonstrated the early state of BCMA research, added to knowledge about MAE detection methods, and brought a nursing perspective to information technology research on a process primarily within nursing purview. Implications for future research include improvement in MAE definitions and detection methods to support reliable data collection for research and quality improvement analysis. Also, sociotechnical theory recognizes health care as an interwoven, heterogeneous environment with complex roles and work practices, and may provide a more appropriate framework for evaluation of medication safety technology innovations than the linear model used in this study.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 3163434; ProQuest document ID: 305025147. The author still retains copyright.
Degree GrantorThe University of Arizona
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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