Contributing factors that influence medication errors in the prehospital paramedic environment: a mixed-method systematic review protocol

Walker, Dennis ORCID: 0000-0003-0322-845X, Moloney, Clint ORCID: 0000-0003-2520-1506, Suesee, Brendan and Sharples, Renee (2019) Contributing factors that influence medication errors in the prehospital paramedic environment: a mixed-method systematic review protocol. BMJ Open, 9 (12). ISSN 2044-6055


Introduction There is limited reliable research available on medication errors in relation to paramedic practice, with most evidence-based medication safety guidelines based on research in nursing, operating theatre and pharmacy settings. While similarities exist, evidence suggests that the prehospital environment is distinctly different in many aspects. The prevention of errors requires attention to factors from the organisational and regulatory level down to specific tasks and patient characteristics. The evidence available suggests errors may occur in up to 12.76% of medication administrations in some prehospital settings. With multiple sources stating that the errors are under-reported, this represents significant potential for patient harm. This review will seek to identify the factors influencing the occurrence of medication errors by paramedics in the prehospital environment. Methods and analysis The review will include qualitative and quantitative studies involving interventions or phenomena regarding medication errors or medication safety relating to paramedics (including emergency medical technicians and other prehospital care providers) within the prehospital environment. A search will be conducted using MEDLINE (Ovid), EBSCOhost Megafile Search, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors trial registry, Google Scholar and the OpenGrey database to identify studies meeting this inclusion criteria, with initial searches commencing 30 September 2019. Studies selected will undergo assessment of methodological quality, with data to be extracted from all studies irrespective of quality. Each stage of study selection, appraisal and data extraction will be conducted by two reviewers, with a third reviewer deciding any unresolved conflicts. The review will follow a convergent integrated approach, conducting a single qualitative synthesis of qualitative and 'qualitised' quantitative data. Ethics and dissemination No ethical approval was required for this review. Findings from this systematic review will be disseminated via publications, reports and conference presentations.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-034094
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3202 Clinical sciences
Current > Division/Research > College of Health and Biomedicine
Keywords emergency medicine, medication errors, paramedics, safety, prehospital paramedics
Citations in Scopus 4 - View on Scopus
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