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AbstractSummary: Current research methods are not well designed to detect medication errors that occur at home. We developed home visit methods to investigate home medication errors in children with chronic conditions. These methods include observation of parent administration of medication to the child by a trained nurse observer who takes detailed ethnographic notes; review of all prescription and over-the-counter medications for dispensing errors, pill counts, and medication reconciliation; and parent interviews to identify barriers to effective home use of medications, prior home medication errors that parents are aware of, and suggestions for systemic improvements. Details about each possible error detected are recorded using a structured data collection form (allergies, medication list, dispensing errors, administration errors). We conducted several pilot home visits and found that this approach has the potential to help understand home medication errors in order to develop interventions to improve the safety of medication self-management.
Walsh KE, Stille CJ, Mazor KM, Gurwitz JE. Using Home Visits to Understand Medication Errors in Children. In: Henriksen K, Battles JB, et al., editors. Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches (Vol. 4: Technology and Medication Safety). Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Aug. Link to chapter on publisher's website