Twitter chat: Double checking - should we?
#WeNurses: Double checking – should we?
In a recent #WeNurses Tweetchat “In the name of safety?” the process of having two nurses to check things like blood and medicines came up:
Single nurse check for blood transfusion – much better. Less rushing to free up busy colleague & time to check and recheck until you’re happy #WeNurses
Agree difficult issues but some evidence single helping medications can also be safer #WeNurses
This got us thinking that perhaps this needed a tweetchat all of it’s own! Whilst it is standard practice for two nurses to check the administration of things like blood and controlled medications (see the NICE Guidance here) Hewitt et al (2016) state “Double checking deserves more questioning, as there are limitations to the process. Practitioners could view double checking through alternate lenses, and thus help strengthen this ubiquitous practice that is rarely challenged.” There appears to be literature both for and against double checking: Schwappach et al (2018) say “Double-checking is well regarded by oncology nurses as a procedure to help prevent errors, with jointly checking being used most frequently.” whilst Alsulami et al (2018) state “There is insufficient evidence to confirm that double checking of medication reduces the risk of medication errors. This does not mean that double checking is ineffective but simply that its effectiveness has not yet been proven” In addition to this Athanasakis (2015) raises the point that double checking can lead to errors with time sensitive medications due to the dufficulty of locating another nurse to check the medication. It seems that double checking is not cut and dry !
This #WeNurses Tweetchat aims to explore double checking by addressing the following questions:
- Why do we double check certain medicines and treatments in nursing ?
- What are the pro’s of double checking?
- What are the con’s of double checking?
- What does the evidence say about double checking?
- How can we ensure our double checking practice is safe and effective?
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