The Role of Hospital Inpatients in Supporting Medication Safety: A Qualitative StudyReportar como inadecuado

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Inpatient medication errors are a significant concern. An approach not yet widely studied is to facilitate greater involvement of inpatients with their medication. At the same time, electronic prescribing is becoming increasingly prevalent in the hospital setting. In this study we aimed to explore hospital inpatients’ involvement with medication safety-related behaviours, facilitators and barriers to this involvement, and the impact of electronic prescribing.


We conducted ethnographic observations and interviews in two UK hospital organisations, one with established electronic prescribing and one that changed from paper to electronic prescribing during our study. Researchers and lay volunteers observed nurses’ medication administration rounds, pharmacists’ ward rounds, doctor-led ward rounds and drug history taking. We also conducted interviews with healthcare professionals, patients and carers. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Observation notes and transcripts were coded thematically.


Paper or electronic medication records were shown to patients in only 4 2% of 247 cases. However, where they were available during patient-healthcare professional interactions, healthcare professionals often viewed them in order to inform patients about their medicines and answer any questions. Interprofessional discussions about medicines seemed more likely to happen in front of the patient where paper or electronic drug charts were available near the bedside. Patients and carers had more access to paper-based drug charts than electronic equivalents. However, interviews and observations suggest there are potentially more significant factors that affect patient involvement with their inpatient medication. These include patient and healthcare professional beliefs concerning patient involvement, the way in which healthcare professionals operate as a team, and the underlying culture.


Patients appear to have more access to paper-based records than electronic equivalents. However, to develop interventions to increase patient involvement with medication safety behaviours, a wider range of factors needs to be considered.

Autor: Sara Garfield , Seetal Jheeta, Fran Husson, Jill Lloyd, Alex Taylor, Charles Boucher, Ann Jacklin, Anna Bischler, Christine Norto



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