How far has healthcare come for nurses? Do we see a time when we will laugh and say, "remember when mobile phones were banned from hospitals because of the interference with radio frequency cardiac monitors". I feel nurses in Ireland are getting more and more interested in new and emerging technology and how it can be applied to our working practices. Nurses are asking me - what are apps? I think the best way to describe an app is a piece of software program designed for smart phones and other computing devices, such a the one we designed to double check drug calculations (Dosage Calc).
I found as a Clinical facilitator and when I read many articles about medication management, how nurses are anxious when it comes to drug calculations on the ward or in the classroom (as an examination MCQ's). Calculations of drugs is a skill that can create stress and worry for many. The fear is when the calculation are incorrect, this will lead to a drug error.
This is one of the main reasons in developing our App.Dosage Calc. to give the nurse more assurance when she/he double check their calculations- it removes the nagging feeling. We wanted to design an easy and simple application that is reliable and accurate. We advise users to use the "flight mode" to ensure it will not interfere with cardiac monitoring of the hospital. I would like you to take time out and review this application. Just google: Dosage Calc.- Sekos
Drug administration errors have been shown to be frequent and serious. There are many reasons for drug errors. Some drug errors can occur at any of the following stages: from when the doctor prescribes the drug, to the pharmacist that dispenses the drug to lastly the nurse who administers the drug to the patient.
According to Kopp et al (2006) reports from his study on medication errors, that a lack of drug knowledge was the cause of 10% of errors and slips and memory lapses were responsible for 40% errors at the administration stage. As a clinical facilitator I find these figures not surprising, (Colera et al 1998) found that nearly a third of communications were interrupted, with an interruption rate of 11 per hour.
What is interesting is how (Moss et al 2008) in their summary states, how nurses who are administering many drugs and multiple drugs at the same time; how they are often interrupted: and rarely seek information regarding correct administration, even when this information is readily available. This is where I feel is the future of mobile clinical references are becoming a necessity to access current and evidence-based information at the ward level (at the point of care). What are your feeling on this subject??
Kopp, B. Erstad, B. Allen, M. Theodorou, A. Prestley, G. (2006). Medication errors and adverse drug events in an intensive care unit: Direct observation approach for detection. Critical care Medicine.34(2): 415-425
Moss, J. (2005) Technological system solutions to clinical communication errors. Journal of Nursing Administration 35(2)