Medication Systems in Reducing Medication Error Rates

Topic: Psychiatry
Words: 654 Pages: 2

Orientation at patient safety presents one of the biggest concerns shared by all inpatient and outpatient healthcare settings. Medication administration errors in psychiatric care are a particular barrier to implementing safety guidelines and improving mentally unstable patients’ social functioning. This discussion utilizes current scientific literature to formulate a research proposal and explore the problem’s implications for nursing and society.

Research Problem Statement

Medication errors are a priority practical problem in psychiatric populations, and testing the effectiveness of error prevention practices is of utmost importance. The issue still captures clinicians’ and researchers’ attention, but it has been researched more extensively in emergency care rather than psychiatric settings (Marcus et al., 2018). As per large-scale data analyses, medication mistakes, including missed doses and drug administration delays by more than three hours, account for over 17% of safety events in inpatient veterans with psychiatric diagnoses (Marcus et al., 2018). At least 15% of errors of this type result in medium to severe harmful consequences, whereas as much as 56% of the incidents are preventable (Marcus et al., 2018). Current research reveals tendencies that link error risks with the stage of the medication use process in psychiatric populations, with administration being related to 81% of errors, followed by ordering, transcribing, prescription, and monitoring (Mehrabifar et al., 2017). Although errors’ consequences do not always lead to health deterioration, addressing their root causes is pivotal for the quality of mental healthcare for adults.

Quantitative research methods are of practical value when it comes to the stated problem. Although the advancements of health information technology (HIT), such as electronic medication systems (EMS), are seen as the most promising anti-error intervention, the evidence of its effectiveness is heterogeneous both in quality and methodologically (Gates et al., 2021). To start with, using a large number of mental health inpatient settings and their patient-level incident statistics, it is possible to conduct the analysis of variance to establish whether the presence and types of systems for electronic medication management are associated with less frequent drug administration errors. Finally, to lay the groundwork for nurse-level error prevention strategies for psychiatric settings, a quantitative questionnaire can be implemented to encourage these professionals to rate diverse risk factors and barriers to concerted psychiatric care in terms of their contributions to medication errors.

Effects of Addressing the Selected Problem

Nursing theory, research, and psychiatric hospitals’ EBP implementation capacity can all be supported due to the abovementioned project. Firstly, due to the questionnaire component, it could produce meaningful takeaways about the sources of errors rooted in people’s imperfect perception and thinking, thus increasing the applicability of human error theories to nursing. Next, in terms of research, the study could fill in the remaining research gap concerning error prevention in psychiatric care by means of HIT. By identifying HIT applications associated with the smallest incidence of errors, the study could support the formulation of evidence-based error prevention interventions for mental health services.

Efforts to address the problem statement provided above would allow bringing about social change by taking mental healthcare provision to the next level. One problem in medication error research in psychiatric hospitals is nurse-level barriers to reporting, ranging from the anticipation of responsibility to the absence of knowledge to categorize one’s behavior as a mistake (Rutledge et al., 2018). Further research endeavors to draw comparisons between error reduction methods could help to mitigate these hindrances’ effects by promoting a culture of prevention. This can eventually increase psychiatric populations’ resocialization capacity, thus transforming the social stigma of treatable mental conditions into an obsolete social phenomenon.


Finally, medication administration errors still affect adult psychiatric populations’ health and experiences as patients. Questionnaires to delve into nurse-perceived sources of drug-related mistakes and quantitative evaluations of HIT tools will promote the identification of the most effective solutions for mental health settings. The large-scale effects of such research could be tremendous and range from developments in theory to former patients’ better rehabilitation and resocialization.


Gates, P. J., Hardie, R. A., Raban, M. Z., Li, L., & Westbrook, J. I. (2021). How effective are electronic medication systems in reducing medication error rates and associated harm among hospital inpatients? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 28(1), 167-176.

Marcus, S. C., Hermann, R. C., Frankel, M. R., & Cullen, S. W. (2018). Safety of psychiatric inpatients at the Veterans Health Administration. Psychiatric Services, 69(2), 204-210.

Mehrabifar, A., Mansouri, A., Gholami, K., Ghaeli, P., & Javadi, M. (2017). Investigation of medication errors in a teaching psychiatric hospital using chart reviews. Medbiotech Journal, 1(2), 57-61.

Rutledge, D. N., Retrosi, T., & Ostrowski, G. (2018). Barriers to medication error reporting among hospital nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(9-10), 1941-1949.

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