Reducing Medication Errors by Adopting Automatic Dispensing Cabinets in Critical Care Units

Hui Ning Tu, Tzu Hao Shan, Yu Chin Wu, Pei Hsuan Shen, Tsung Yu Wu, Wen Liang Lin, Yea Huei Yang-Kao, Ching Lan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Medication errors can have severe consequences and threaten patient safety. The patient safety-related benefits of automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs) have been reported by several previous studies, including a reduction in medication errors in intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency departments. However, the benefits of ADCs need to be assessed, given the different healthcare practice models. This study aimed to compare the rates of medication errors, including prescription, dispensing, and administrative, before and after using ADCs in intensive care units. The prescription, dispensing, and administrative error data before and after the adoption of ADCs were retrospectively collected from the medication error report system. The severity of medication errors was classified according to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention guidelines. The study outcome was the rate of medication errors. After the adoption of ADCs in the intensive care units, the rates of prescription and dispensing errors reduced from 3.03 to 1.75 per 100,000 prescriptions and 3.87 to 0 per 100,000 dispensations, respectively. The administrative error rate decreased from 0.046 to 0.026%. The ADCs decreased National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention category B and D errors by 75% and category C errors by 43%. To improve medication safety, multidisciplinary collaboration and strategies, such as the use of automated dispensing cabinets, education, and training programs from a systems perspective, are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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