HealthDay News — More than 40 percent of fully trained nurses from home care services reported medication errors within a 12-month period, according to a study published online May 4 in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives.

Sandra Strube-Lahmann, Ph.D., from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and colleagues examined how often medication errors occur and whether they are related to training, quality assurance measures (use of the double-check principle [DCP]), and other structural conditions of home care services in a cross-sectional study involving 485 fully trained nurses from 107 home care services.

The researchers found that 41.6 percent of the nurses reported medication errors within a 12-month period and 14.8 percent did not answer this question. The odds ratio of not making medication-related errors was 1.79 for nurses who had attended medication training within the last two years as opposed to a longer period (frequently versus rarely applied DCP). No significant associations were seen for years of professional experience, amount of patients per shift, or type of work contract (full versus part-time) with reported medication errors.


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“Regular training and adequate quality management measures increase patient safety,” the authors write. “Nursing managers and other responsible individuals of home care institutions have to make sure that nursing staff take part in regular medication training and apply the DCP when they give out medication in home care.”

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