Diagnosis and identification of key issues of usability for reducing medication errors

Lucas José Garcia, Rosimeri Franck Pichler, Eva Maria Seitz, Giselle Schmidt Alves Díaz Merino, Leila do Amaral Gontijo, Eugenio Andrés Díaz Merino

Abstract


At a unit of a hospital in the Brazilian city of Florianópolis, from the diagnosis to the administration of medicines in the inpatient, usability problems like errors were detected in the flow of medication as well as problems of greater severity. This paper aims to perform a diagnosis of usability in the inpatient unit of a teaching hospital in Florianópolis in order to identify the main problems in the flow of medication. As a method, the authors used literature review, field visits, assessments of usability principles and determination of the severity of the problems found. The step of lowest usability was the preparation, followed by the steps of dispensation, administration and prescription. As for severity, the similarity of names, colors and shapes of packages of drugs was identified as the most problematic. Beside the problems that involves the health care professionals, the hospital has problems like the environment and the products, like the packaging of medications. The usability diagnosis can help find ways to make the flow of medication more efficient and safe.

Keywords: design, usability, medication errors.


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