A research team lead by Huckels-Baumgart found that separate medication rooms in hospitals are a good investment. They report that “Interruptions and errors during the medication process are common. . . . Our aim was to evaluate the effect of separate medication rooms on interruptions during medication preparation and on self-reported medication error rates. We performed a preintervention and postintervention study using direct structured observation of nurses during medication preparation and daily structured medication error self-reporting of nurses by questionnaires in 2 wards at a major teaching hospital in Switzerland. . . . After the introduction of the separate medication room, the mean interruption rate decreased significantly from 51.8 to 30 interruptions per hour . . . and the interruption-free preparation time increased significantly from 1.4 to 2.5 minutes. . . . Overall, the mean medication error rate per day was also significantly reduced after implementation of the separate medication room from 1.3 to 0.9 errors per day.” Data were collected from the same group of nurses before and after the separate medication rooms were introduced and medication administration processes did not change when the separate medication rooms were introduced. The information gathered by Huckels-Baumgart and her colleagues highlights the advantages of doing any work requiring focus without distractions.
Saskia Huckels-Baumgart, Andre Baumgart, Ute Buschmann, Guido Schupfer, and Tanja Manser. “Separate Medication Preparation Rooms Reduce Interruptions and Medication Errors in the Hospital Setting: A Prospective Observational Study.” Journal of Patient Safety, in press.