Factors Contributing to Medication Administration Errors in Inpatient Pediatric Patients

Introduction: Children are at increased risk for medication administration errors, however little is known about the epidemiology of these errors among pediatric inpatients, and findings from previous studies on medication errors are limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to estimate the incidence of factors contributing to medication administration errors in inpatient pediatric patients. Material and Method: The sample of the study consisted of 203 pediatric nurses from the two pediatric hospitals in Athens, "Pan. & Agl. Kyriakou” and “Agia Sophia”, as well as from "Karamandaneio" Pediatric Hospital of Patras. Data collection was performed using a special scale for study purposes, which was completed from the participants. Significance level was set at 5%. All statistical analyzes were performed using the SPSS statistical package version 22 and the t-test and anova correlation tests were used. Results: Most of the 203 pediatric nurses participants in this study, were women (85.7%) and 14.3% were male. 54.7% of the participants reported having committed a medication error during their nursing career. Statistical analysis found that individuals who are under 35 years of age commit medication errors more often when administrating medication, p=0.040. As far as the education of the participants on the scale referring to the factors concerning the knowledge, more positive appearing the graduates pediatric nurses and those with a postgraduate and doctorate degree, p=0.009. Depending on the degree of nurses in pediatric settings, the findings of this study regarding the knowledge scale, conclude that heads and sub-heads of departments have greater knowledge, p=0.008. Individuals who report a medication error during their professional career, according to the findings of the study, have commit medication errors in all three scales regarding errors in preparation, administration, prescribing, p<0.001. Those who report systematically distraction or work interruption due to extraneous factors during medical administration, score worse on the medication error scale for the preparation conditions of drugs, p=0.004 and the scale concerning errors in drug administration, p=0.041. Conclusions: The findings of this study conclude that medication administration errors depend on both working factors and individual characteristics of participants such as knowledge, education and professional experience.