Intended for healthcare professionals


Frequent interruptions linked to drug errors

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 22 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1155
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. 1Manchester

    Interruptions and distractions were the main reasons given for drug errors, in a study at one acute hospital trust.

    These were mentioned 14 times as contributing to drug errors in a three month pilot study of an enhanced reporting scheme carried out at Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. Heavy workload and labelling errors were both mentioned 10 times in the 49 reports included in the study.

    Although the numbers are too small to be statistically significant, research by Gerry Armitage, a senior research fellow at Bradford Institute for Health Research, confirms interruptions is a factor that needs to be dealt with.

    “We live in a time pressured environment and interruptions and distractions are contributing,” …

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