Electronic medication management systems (EMMS) have been implemented in most acute care settings in Australia to reduce medication error rates. One of the key challenges related to the introduction of EMMS in hospitals is the uptake of informal “workarounds” by clinicians, including nurses. In this study, we aimed to examine one workaround in depth, nurses not documenting medication administration in the EMMS at the time of administration. We conducted a review of incident reports to identify the factors that contribute to this workaround occurring and the consequences or potential consequences of this workaround on patients. We identified a range of contributing factors, with factors relating to the user (e.g. nurses being time poor) occurring most frequently in incident reports. The most frequently seen consequence of this workaround was the patient receiving an additional dose. This research revealed that strategies to reduce the uptake of this workaround should consider user and organisational factors rather than just EMMS design alone.
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