Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Technology Innovations 

Barriers to Safe Medication Administration in the Nursing Home: Exploring Staff Perceptions and Concerns About the Medication Use Process

Amy Vogelsmeier, MSN, RN, BC, GCNS; Jill Scott-Cawiezell, PhD, RN; David Zellmer, BA

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore staff perceptions and concerns about the medication use process in the nursing home setting. A total of 76 staff members from 5 nursing homes in 3 Midwestern states participated in key informant interviews and focus groups. Common themes included issues related to communication, competing demands, and the challenges of a paper-based medication administration record. Concerns frequently were associated with the timeliness and accuracy of the medication administration process. Recognition of staff concerns are an important first step in improving the nursing home medication use process. Staff insight provided clarification related to impediments to safe medication practices. This study provides insight into how technology can improve the nursing home medication use process.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore staff perceptions and concerns about the medication use process in the nursing home setting. A total of 76 staff members from 5 nursing homes in 3 Midwestern states participated in key informant interviews and focus groups. Common themes included issues related to communication, competing demands, and the challenges of a paper-based medication administration record. Concerns frequently were associated with the timeliness and accuracy of the medication administration process. Recognition of staff concerns are an important first step in improving the nursing home medication use process. Staff insight provided clarification related to impediments to safe medication practices. This study provides insight into how technology can improve the nursing home medication use process.
Authors

Ms. Vogelsmeier is research nurse, Dr. Scott-Cawiezell is Assistant Professor, and Mr. Zellmer is Program Coordinator, University of Missouri-Columbia, Sinclair School of Nursing, Columbia, Missouri.

This project was funded by an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant (5 UC1 HS14281-02).

Amy Vogelsmeier is a 2005-2007 John A. Hartford Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholar.

Address correspondence to Amy Vogelsmeier, MSN, RN, BC, GCNS, University of Missouri, Sinclair School of Nursing, Route 2, Box 152AA, Sweet Springs, MO 65351; e-mail: vogelsmeiera@missouri.edu.

10.3928/00989134-20070401-02

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