Medication calculation and administration workshop and hurdle assessment increases student awareness towards the importance of safe practices to decrease medication errors in the future

Wallace, Darlene, Woolley, Torres, Martin, David, Rasalam, Roy, and Bellei, Maria (2016) Medication calculation and administration workshop and hurdle assessment increases student awareness towards the importance of safe practices to decrease medication errors in the future. Education for Health, 29 (3). pp. 171-178.

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Abstract

Background: Medication errors are the second most frequently reported hospital incident in Australia and are a global concern. A “Medication Calculation and Administration” workshop followed by a “hurdle” assessment (compulsory task mandating a minimum level of performance as a condition of passing the course) was introduced into Year 2 of the James Cook University medical curriculum to decrease dosage calculation and administration errors among graduates. This study evaluates the effectiveness of this educational activity as a long-term strategy to teach medical students' essential skills in calculating and administering medications.

Methods: This longitudinal study used a pre- and post-test design to determine whether medical students retained their calculation and administration skills over a period of 4 years. The ability to apply basic mathematical skills to medication dose calculation, principles of safe administration (Part 1), and ability to access reference materials to check indications, contraindications, and writing the medication order with correct abbreviations (Part 2) were compared between Year 2 and 6 assessments.

Results: Scores for Parts 1, 2 and total scores were nearly identical from Year 2 to Year 6 (P = 0.663, 0.408, and 0.472, respectively), indicating minimal loss of knowledge by students in this period. Most Year 6 students (86%) were able to recall at least 5 of the “6 Rights of Medication Administration” while 84% reported accessing reference material and 91% reported checking their medical calculations.

Discussion: The “Medication Calculation and Administration” workshop with a combined formative and summative assessment – a “hurdle” – promotes long-term retention of essential clinical skills for medical students. These skills and an awareness of the problem are strategies to assist medical graduates in preventing future medication-related adverse events.

Item ID: 50015
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: medical education, medication errors, patient safety
Additional Information:

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‑Non Commercial‑Share Alike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non‑commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

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ISSN: 1469-5804
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2017 05:44
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences > 111502 Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 50%
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