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Title: Deviation from accepted drug administration guidelines during anaesthesia in twenty highly realistic simulated cases.
Authors: Webster, C S
Andersson, E
Edwards, K
Merry, AF 
Torrie, J 
Weller, JM 
Issue Date: Nov-2015
Source: Anaesthesia and intensive care 2015-11; 43(6): 698-706
Abstract: Deviations from accepted practice guidelines and protocols are poorly understood, yet some deviations are likely to be deliberate and carry potential for patient harm. Anaesthetic teams practice in a complex work environment and anaesthetists are unusual in that they both prescribe and administer the drugs they use, allowing scope for idiosyncratic practise. We aimed to better understand the intentions underlying deviation from accepted guidelines during drug administration in simulated cases. An observer recorded events that may have increased the risk of patient harm ('Events of Interest' [EOIs]) during 20 highly realistic simulated anaesthetic cases. In semi-structured interviews, details of EOIs were confirmed with participating anaesthetic teams, and intentions and reasoning underlying the confirmed deviations were discussed. Confirmed details of EOIs were tabulated and we undertook qualitative analysis of interview transcripts. Twenty-four EOIs (69% of 35 recorded) were judged by participants to carry potential for patient harm, and 12 (34%) were judged to be deviations from accepted guidelines (including one drug administration error). Underlying reasons for deviations included a strong sense of clinical autonomy, poor clinical relevance and a lack of evidence for guidelines, ingrained habits learnt in early training, and the influence of peers. Guidelines are important in clinical practice, yet self-identified deviation from accepted guidelines was common in our results, and all but one of these events was judged to carry potential for patient harm. A better understanding of the reasons underlying deviation from accepted guidelines is essential to the design of more effective guidelines and to achieving compliance.
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 0310-057X
Journal Title: Anaesthesia and intensive care
Type: Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Appears in Collections:Scholarly and Clinical

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