Reducing interruptions to improve medication safety

J Nurs Care Qual. 2013 Apr-Jun;28(2):176-85. doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0b013e318275ac3e.


In the fast-paced environment of a cardiac and thoracic surgery telemetry unit, nurses are interrupted hundreds of times per day. These interruptions can have a detrimental effect on patient safety during medication administration. This article describes a bundle of safety interventions that reduced the average number of interruptions during medication administration by 2.11 interruptions per encounter and decreased reported medication errors by a total of 28 incidents over a 3-month period.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration
  • Academic Medical Centers / standards*
  • Humans
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / standards*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / standards*
  • Patient Safety / standards
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration
  • Safety Management / standards*