Study: Medication Errors Tied to Higher Workload, Emotional Stress

Higher perceived workload, higher caseload and higher emotional stress are associated with medication errors, according to a study in Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Researchers studied the effect of emotional stress, perceived workload, patient case volume, clinical experience, total sleep and demographic variables on self-reported medication events — actual administration and near misses. The study involved physicians in four academic hospitals over 18 months.


Medication events were associated with the following:

•    36.1 percent higher perceived workload
•    38.6 percent higher inpatient caseloads
•    55.9 percent higher emotional stress scores

There was also a trend for medication events to be associated with less sleep, according to the report.

More Articles on Medication Safety:

Patient Safety Tool: Guide to Reducing Adverse Drug Events
Study: Electronic Prescribing Avoids 17.4M Medication Errors in 1 Year

Patient Safety Tool: ISMP Medication Safety Self-Assessment

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