Background Increasing the medication administration safety is vital to improving patient safety. The aim of this study is to analyse educational interventions designed to increase the medication administration skills and safety of registered nurses.
Methods A systematic review of the literature using six databases was conducted to identify intervention studies published between January 2000 and April 2015. The quality of studies was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) Quality Assessment Tool. The efficacy of the interventions was determined by calculating the effect sizes and conducting a meta-analysis.
Results Fourteen intervention studies were included in this systematic review. Quality was strong only in one study and moderate in another four. The interventions differed significantly from one study to the next, and the original investigators reported significant improvement in the skills and medication safety owing to the interventions. The meta-analyses, however, revealed that the effect of the intervention was strong in only four of the studies. Those interventions were the 60-minute educational intervention (PowerPoint presentation), a blended learning programme inclusive of e-learning, wall poster and informative pamphlets, and a combination of three different interventions (classroom or self-study methods). In two out of four cases, the quality of the study was weak and moderate in two cases, and only one of the effective interventions was a randomised controlled trial.
Conclusions Based on the original analysis, all the interventions reviewed had a positive impact on medication administration safety. Nonetheless, these positive outcomes do not necessarily indicate effective interventions. The most effective interventions in this review were methodologically dissimilar. Studies should be assessed for their quality and a meta-analysis performed when searching for the best, effective and highest quality educational interventions.
- Systematic review
- Medication administration
- Medication safety