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Listen carefully: The risk of error in spoken medication orders

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Title: Listen carefully: The risk of error in spoken medication orders
Author(s): Lambert, Bruce L.; Dickey, Laura Wallsh; Fisher, William M.; Gibbons, Robert D.; Lin, Swu-Jane; Luce, Paul A.; McLennan, Conor T.; Senders, John W.; Yu, Clement T.
Subject(s): Medication error Patient safety Drug name confusion Auditory perception
Abstract: Clinicians and patients often confuse drug names that sound alike (Hicks, Becker, & Cousins, 2008). We conducted auditory perception experiments to assess the impact of similarity, familiarity, background noise and other factors on clinicians’ and laypersons’ ability to identify spoken drug names. Accuracy increased significantly as the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio increased, as subjective familiarity with the name increased and as the national prescribing frequency of the name increased. For clinicians only, similarity to other drug names reduced identification accuracy, especially when the neighboring names were frequently prescribed. When one name was substituted for another, the substituted name was almost always a more frequently prescribed drug. Objectively measurable properties of drug names can be used to predict confusability. The magnitude of the noise and familiarity effects suggests that they may be important targets for intervention.
Issue Date: 2010-05
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation Info: Lambert, B. L., Dickey, L. W., Fisher, W. M., Gibbons, R. D., Lin, S. J., Luce, P. A., McLennan, C. T., Senders, J. W., & Yu, C. T. 2010. Listen carefully: The risk of error in spoken medication orders. Social Science & Medicine, 70(10): 1599-1608. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.01.042
Type: Article
Description: Post print version of article may differ from published version. The definitive version is available through Elsevier at DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.01.042
ISSN: 0277-9536
Date Available in INDIGO: 2011-02-28

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