The aim of the study was to develop quality standards reflecting minimal requirements for safe medication processes in nursing homes.
In a first step, relevant key topics for safe medication processes were deducted from a systematic search for similar guidelines, prior work and discussions with experts. In a second step, the essential requirements for each key topic were specified and substantiated with a literature-based rationale. Subsequently, the requirements were evaluated with a piloted, two-round Delphi study.
We developed normative quality standards for a safer and resident-oriented medication in Swiss nursing homes. Altogether, 85 requirements define the medication processes and the behaviour of healthcare professionals. A rigorous implementation may support nursing homes in taking a step towards safer and resident-oriented medication.
In 22 (3.2%) of 690 observed double checks, 28 chemotherapy-related inconsistencies were detected. Half of them related to non-matching information between order and drug label, while the other half was identified because the nurses used their own knowledge. 75% of the inconsistencies could be traced back to inappropriate orders, and the inconsistencies led to 33 subsequent or corrective actions.
In double check situations, the plausibility of the medication is often reviewed. Additionally, they serve as a correction for errors and that are made much earlier in the medication process, during order. Both results open up new opportunities for improving the medication process.
Dre Yvonne Pfeiffer, Chantal Zimmermann, Prof. Dr David Schwappach, Sécurité des patients Suisse