A medication safety education program to reduce the risk of harm caused by medication errors

J Contin Educ Nurs. Jul-Aug 2007;38(4):176-84. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20070701-04.


A medication safety education program was developed and implemented to reduce the harm caused to patients by medication errors, specifically errors related to the intravenous infusion of high-alert medications. Participants were required to complete two 30-minute computer modules focusing on medication safety. Changes in the climate of safety, nurses' knowledge and behavior, and the number of infusion pump alerts and reported medication errors were evaluated both before and after completion of the education program. A statistically significant change in knowledge regarding medication errors occurred, but there was no change in the climate of safety scores, the use of behaviors advocated in the medication safety education program to improve medication infusion safety, the number of infusion pump alerts, or the number of reported errors. It was concluded that there was a need for strong administrative support and follow-up to foster changes in behavior, which can lead to a reduction in harm caused by medication errors.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous / nursing
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Safety Management*
  • United States