Risk managers: Errors are a problem, but not locally

A new survey on medication errors has found that nearly 98% of hospital risk managers and administrators polled agree that medication errors are a significant problem in the U.S. health care industry. But when asked if medication errors were a concern in their own institutions, 33% said they were not an overriding issue. When it comes to support for making medication errors known, 73% of the survey’s participants do not believe their hospitals reward people for reporting errors.

The survey was sponsored by Becton Dickinson, a medical technology company in Franklin Lakes, NJ, to determine awareness of the medical error problem in hospitals and the effectiveness of current medication error-reducing technologies. The survey polled 141 hospital risk managers and administrators at hospitals of varying size, including those with fewer than 200 beds (45%), 200 to 400 beds (38%), and more than 400 beds (17%).

The survey also found that 45% of hospitals had purchased cabinet technology — nursing station carts containing floor stocks of medications — and while 30% of hospitals had evaluated robot technology, only 9% had decided to purchase the technology.