The results of a new national study should come as no surprise to any seasoned nurse or healthcare worker. The study found out that a great majority of the medication errors arise from mislabelling of the safety syringes used in hospitals and medical facilities.
The study which surveyed 1,039 nurses across the nation was conducted by The American Nurses Association (ANA) and sponsored by ANA and Inviro Medical Devices, a company that caters to the $1.6 billion safety syringe market.
This insider’s look at the safety syringe practices is crucial given the fact that 44% of the U.S. nurses use injectable medication more than five times per shift. That’s a lot of opportunities for error on a daily basis.
One overall result of the study stands above all others:
97 % of the nurses surveyed said they “worry” about medication errors, and more than two-thirds (68 %) said they believe medication errors can be reduced with more consistent syringe labelling.
So the question arises: what is preventing the healthcare professionals from applying more consistent syringe labeling?
To understand that question, we need to look at the existing syringe labelling practices.
An alarming 28% of nurses said they do not label the syringes at all.
Of the remaining 72% who do, this is how they said they do it:
* Writing on self-adhesive labels then applying to syringe (54 %).
* Writing on pieces of tape and adhering to syringe (31 %).
* Using a Sharpie pen and writing directly on syringe (11 %).
* Writing on paper or sticky note and taping to syringe (4 %).