Medications are chemical compounds given for the purpose of prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of medical conditions (1). Currently, use of medications are on increasing. If this medications are not given carefully, it brought errors to the patient (1-3). Error is failure to execute an action as intended. Medication error is any preventable event that lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer (4). Such process/events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing, order communication, product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use”(4). Though medication errors can occur in any phase of the medication use process, most of them occur during the administration stage (5-9). For example, study from United Kingdom’s showed 50 % MAE compared to 18 % for dispensing, and 16 % for prescribing (10), in England 54.4% of MAE compared to 16 (21.3%) prescribing, (1.4%) transition, (15.9%) dispensing, and (6.9%) monitoring, in Iran up to 70 % MAE compared to 47.8 % for prescribing, 33.6 % for dispensing and 51.8 % for transcribing errors (11) and in Africa overall, 56.4% (IQR: 39.5–87.5%) was reported at least one MAE (12). Medication administration error is any discrepancy between the medicine given to the patient and the prescriber’s medication order as written on the patient’s chart or manufacturers’ preparation/administration instructions(9, 13) and its error directly affects the patient health(12, 14, 15).
Nurses the last safety check in the chain of medication error management for the safeguard of patient wellbeing (16). In nursing, medication administration error is an error during medication administration process such as preparation, administration, and documentation in a continuous process through a series of actions without interruption (17-19) 4–7.The medication administration process is a daily component of nursing practice and is often viewed as a routine and basic task that account for around 40 % of their work time (17, 20). Due to this and MA is the final step in medication process, nurses have professional, legal and ethical responsibility to identify, correct, report, and prevent error in the medication process whether they are the source, contributor, or an observer of an error(13, 19, 21, 22). Although the prevalence of MAE is vary due to the variation in the definition, method of assessment, setting, participants characteristic and other factors, globally the magnitude of MAE is ranging from 8.6 to 28.3% in developed countries and 9.4% to 88.6% in low and middle income countries (23-33). For example in USA 67% (25, 34), in India 68.5%, in South-East Asia15-88% (35) and 89.9% in Ethiopia (30-33). These variations were account with the assessment method, definition or measurement tool. In nursing, scientists and health professionals have developed decisive principles/standard or “rights” in order to practice safe medication administration (16, 33, 36, 37). These number of rights for medication administration is vary significantly depending on the source that is being used. Some sources dictate 5 “rights”(36), 6 “rights”(33), 7 “rights” and others make 9 “rights”(37). Among these, the six “rights” are the widely practiced such as: identifying the right patient, selecting the right medication, calculating the right dose, identifying the right route, administering the medication at the right time, and using the right documentation (33). If strictly followed, the six rights could play a fundamental role in the prevention of most MAEs (33). MA is an increasingly complex process, influenced by number of factors such as: number of medications, policies and procedures (1, 30-32, 38, 39), ages, work experience and working time/shift (19, 30-32, 39). MAE adverse effect patient morbidity, mortality and length of hospital stay (1, 7, 39, 40). Therefore, there is dearth of study regarding the prevalence of MAE and its associated factors in Ethiopia (32).
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