New research at the University of Bath seems to indicate that injection guidelines that are developed and written from the point of view of nurses can help reduce the risk of medication errors made by these medical professionals.
The findings of the study are being described as “pathbreaking,” by researchers who believe that nursing errors involving the use of intravenous injections could be reduced by as much as two and a half times through the use of nursing-friendly instructions. These instructions are written by pharmacists, and not from the view of nurses. That results in interpretation errors and other types of errors that can result in serious harm for patients. The study found that nurses make far fewer errors when they follow instructions that are written with them in mind.
The National Health Service in the United Kingdom says that as many as 30 to 35% of intravenous injections involve some sort of error. These high rates of errors can be reduced simply by making intravenous injection instructions easy for nurses to decipher and understand. These mistakes also account for a large number of the more than 230 million medical errors recorded in England every year.
The study might have been conducted in the United Kingdom, but the results could certainly find value across the pond as well. Communication errors of the kind that involve misreading of instructions can have potentially serious consequences for patients. When nurses follow instructions that are written with their understanding in mind, they are much less likely to make errors.
The instructions in their current form are written by pharmacists who tend to use the kind of language that make sense to others in their profession, but may not make that much sense to nurses. Interpretation errors can occur, and the consequences can be profoundly serious.