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The impact of a novel medication scanner on administration errors in the hospital setting: a before and after feasibility study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clare TolleyORCiD, Neil Watson, Professor Sarah SlightORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022. The Author(s). OBJECTIVE: The medication administration process is complex and consequently prone to errors. Closed Loop Medication Administration solutions aim to improve patient safety. We assessed the impact of a novel medication scanning device (MedEye) on the rate of medication administration errors in a large UK Hospital. METHODS: We performed a feasibility before and after study on one ward at a tertiary-care teaching hospital that used a commercial electronic prescribing and medication administration system. We conducted direct observations of nursing drug administration rounds before and after the MedEye implementation. We calculated the rate and type ('timing', 'omission' or 'other' error) of medication administration errors (MAEs) before and after the MedEye implementation. RESULTS: We observed a total of 1069 administrations before and 432 after the MedEye intervention was implemented. Data suggested that MedEye could support a reduction in MAEs. After adjusting for heterogeneity, we detected a decreasing effect of MedEye on overall errors (p = 0.0753). Non-timing errors ('omission' and 'other' errors) reduced from 51 (4.77%) to 11 (2.55%), a reduction of 46.5%, which had borderline significance at the 5% level, although this was lost after adjusting for confounders. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study detected a decreasing effect of MedEye on overall errors and a reduction in non-timing error rates that was clinically important as such errors are more likely to be associated with harm. Further research is needed to investigate the impact on a larger sample of medications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tolley CL, Watson NW, Heed A, Einbeck J, Medows S, Wood L, Campbell L, Slight SP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making

Year: 2022

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 29/03/2022

Acceptance date: 16/03/2022

Date deposited: 19/04/2022

ISSN (electronic): 1472-6947

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s12911-022-01828-3

PubMed id: 35351096


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Funder referenceFunder name
730731Commission of the European Communities