Assessment of the implementation of safe medication practices in Intensive Medicine Units
M J Otero 1 , P Merino de Cos 2 , I Aquerreta González 3 , M Bodí 4 , E Domingo Chiva 5 , S M Marrero Penichet 6 , R Martín Muñoz 7 , M C Martín Delgado 8
Objective: To assess the level of implementation of medication safety practices in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and to identify opportunities for improvement.
Design: A descriptive multicenter study was carried out.
Setting: Intensive Care Units.
Participants/procedure: A total of 40 ICUs voluntarily completed the "Medication use-system safety self-assessment for Intensive Care Units" between March and September 2020. The survey comprised 147 items for evaluation grouped into 10 key elements.
Main variables: Calculation was made of the mean scores and mean percentages based on the maximum possible values for the overall survey, for the key elements and for each individual item for evaluation.
Results: The mean score of the overall questionnaire among the participating ICUs was 436.8 (49.2% of the maximum possible score). No differences were found according to functional dependence, size of the hospital or type of ICU.
The key elements referred to the incorporation of clinical pharmacists in these units, as well as the competence and training of the professionals in safety practices yielded the lowest values (31.2% and 33.2%, respectively).
Three other key elements related to accessibility to information about patients and medicines; to the standardization, storage and distribution of medicines; and to the quality and risk management programs, yielded percentages below 50%.
Conclusions: Numerous effective safety medication practices have been identified with a low level of implementation in ICUs. This situation must be addressed in order to reduce medication errors in critically ill patients.