Date of Graduation

Winter 12-12-2014

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Danijela Pavlic


Medication administration is an important part of nursing duties in acute-care settings. The nurse is responsible for prioritizing safe quality care when administering medications but errors do occur. This project addressed interruptions as one of the challenges of safe medication administration. The aims of this project are 1) to determine a standardized medication administration process 2) to identify perceived and actual interruptions on the unit and 3) to address and reduce the avoidable interruptions of calls, pages and call lights at the nurse station. The purpose of this project is to improve patient outcomes, nurse satisfaction and nurse workflow by reducing medication administration errors due to avoidable interruptions. A CNL student, Patient Safety Officer, nurses, unit staff and unit clerk participated in the project through microsystem assessments, surveys and observations to reduce calls, pages and call lights during unit specific medication administration hours. There was a reduction in overhead pages for nurses, which may indicate an effective intervention of triaging emergent and non-emergent incoming calls by clerks as well as patients waiting until the medication administrations hours were over prior to requesting nurse assistance. Pre-implementation, nurses were paged overhead 78% of the time compared to post-implementation of 46%. This indicates the clerks triaged call lights effectively after implementation. Safe medication administration remains an important area of improvement and this project provides an example of effective strategies to reduce avoidable interruptions.

Keywords: medication administration, interruptions, medication errors, standardized practice, patient outcomes, nurse satisfaction.

Included in

Nursing Commons