African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2205

Full Length Research Paper

Wrong time medication administration errors: Frequency and their causes at Adult University Teaching Hospitals in Zambia

Martin Kampamba
  • Martin Kampamba
  • Department of Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Tilolele Mwanza
  • Tilolele Mwanza
  • Department of Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Kennedy Saini
  • Kennedy Saini
  • Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Lusaka Apex Medical University, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Hanzooma Hatwiko
  • Hanzooma Hatwiko
  • Department of Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
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Luke Biete
  • Luke Biete
  • Deparment of Pharmacy, Ndola Teaching Hospital, Ndola, Zambia.
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Christabel Nangandu Hikaambo
  • Christabel Nangandu Hikaambo
  • Department of Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.
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  •  Received: 27 August 2020
  •  Accepted: 14 October 2020
  •  Published: 30 November 2020

Abstract

Wrong-time medication administration errors (WTMAEs) can have serious consequences for medication safety. The study was a cross-sectional study that employed a prospective observation technique and was conducted from 4th June to 20th July 2018 at Adult University Teaching Hospital (AUTH) in the Internal Medicine and Surgery departments. A total of 1749 doses were observed being administered to 325 inpatients and the frequency of WTMAEs was 47.8% (n= 836). Further analysis of WTMAEs was performed of which early and late time medication administration errors accounted for 47.2% (n= 826) and 4.9% (n=86), respectively. In the multivariable regression model, medications administered every 6 h (QID) [AOR=5.02, 95% CI (2.66, 9.46)] were associated with a higher likelihood of being involved in WTMAE. The most common causes of early and late time medication administration errors as reported by nurses were work overload (88.9%) and change in patients’ condition (86.1%), respectively. Wrong time medication administration errors were common in the Adult Hospital at AUTH in the two departments studied. Unless effective interventions such as continuous nursing education and the recommended patient to nursing ratio are put in place, WTMAEs will continue to persist and this will in turn, continue compromising patient safety.

Key words: Wrong time medication administration errors, frequency, late medication administration errors, early medication administration errors.