Research Article Critique
Effects of working conditions on intravenous medication errors in a Japanese hospital
In an effort to determine the working conditions that influence the occurrence of errors and near-miss errors related to intravenous medication, Seki and Yamazaki (2006) developed a study in a Japanese hospital setting using questionnaires methodology of research. The anticipations were that working conditions may have had a negative effect on the outcomes of nursing practices in Japan due to their deterioration in the recent past. The results of this study showed that workload and inexperience in the wards studied led to errors in nursing practices. Lack of fatigue and long-term experience of nurses brought about a great capacity to detect errors even before they occur. The recommendations were that it was important to improve the conditions of the health care workers in Japan in order to encourage them to detect errors before they occur in the healthcare settings.
Although the researchers did not develop an abstract at the beginning of the article, they were able to attract the attention of the readers by providing a clear summary of the entire article. This clearly represented an abstract to the article in this case. The summary was divided into four parts; the aim, background information, methods, results and the conclusion, and was simple, short, but highly informative.
The researchers did not provide a clear statement of the problem as required in study reports. The implication of the lack of a clear statement of the problem implies that readers will have to judge from the background information that was provided at the start of the article. In this case, the problem that existed before this study was undertaken is the question whether the outcomes of the clinical and nursing practices were derailed by poor working conditions, and which working conditions were likely to affect the outcomes of the nursing practices in hospital settings in Japan. It was known that the working conditions for clinical employees in Japan had deteriorated in the recent past. In addition, there was an understanding that several reports of medical errors caused by fatigue, stress and inexperience in various medical sites throughout Japan already existed.
Significance of the study
The researchers did not provide a paragraph containing the significance of the study in the report, probably having done so in the study proposal at the beginning of the study. Despite this, the introduction part of the article has provided clear information on the intended use of the study results. This has been developed into a paragraph that explained that the purpose of the results was to improve the conditions of the hospital and the outcomes of the clinical and medical practices in various hospital settings throughout the country. This would be achieved through the use of the results to try and prevent the errors through the improvement of the employees working conditions in medical setups.
Aims of the study
The researchers have provided clear and elaborative information on the aims of the study. According to the statement provided, the aim of the study was to explore quantitatively the type of working conditions that may influence the occurrence of medical and clinical near miss-errors associated with intravenous mediation at a selected hospital setting in Japan. Although the aims of the study satisfied the research purpose, study questions could have been developed from this section, and which would in turn lead to the formulation of a contented study hypothesis.
The conventional and contemporary practices of developing a good and quality study report requires that the researchers provide study questions that they are supposed to answer with data analysis. This directs the study and ensures that the researchers confine their focus on the scope of the study. While the researchers in this study worked within the scope of the study, they were not able to develop consistent study questions, which are normally the initial steps towards developing a consistent study hypothesis. In addition, readers normally look for the study questions in order to understand the hypothesis as well as the scope of the study.
In this particular study, they failed to provide a literature review section. However, within the introduction provided in this article, there is an evidence of several citations and recognition of the existing information gained from previous studies by other persons in various parts of the world, and more so in the Japanese hospitals. This can be taken to be a good analysis of the previous research, as well as the recognition of the work done by other persons. Moreover, it provides the study with some originality. Then references provided within these sections are quite recent, and thus provide the paper with a degree of validity. This study was done and the paper developed in the year 2008, at a time when other researchers may have been developing the same or similar studies. Despite this, the study is quite unique, given that the study area had not been chosen by any other researcher, while at the same time it focused on the effect of the deteriorated working conditions in the hospital to represent the general situation in the entire country. Despite this, the researchers could have considered the fact that literature review, when placed in its own section with the same heading, normally appears quite consistent and valid with the contemporary and the conventional methods of writing research papers.
This study was a quantitative study, where questionnaires were the main data collection tools. The researchers chose a particular hospital in Japan as the study area, and the nurses within this hospital as the study population. The nurses were provided with information on the study, its procedures, importance as well as the intended use of the results. In addition, the researchers developed followed the rules, where they obtained consent from the study samples. The article further proves that the questionnaires were actually distributed to the rightful persons in the hospital setting, and were duly returned. The article creates a sense of originality, as it provides the actual source of origin of information on the working conditions of health workers in Japan.
The researchers have provided clear information on the variables used in this study. For instance, the study focused on several causes and aspects of poor working conditions that are likely to cause errors in the medical practice within the hospital area; shifts, work experience, fatigue, duration of sleep, workload within the hospital, busyness, and the occurrence of near-miss errors in the hospital. These factors directed the focus of the study, keeping the researchers within the scope of the study. In this section, the researchers have achieved much in terms of validity of the research, and its relevance to the healthcare setting in Japan. In addition, they have been able to convince the readers and thus develop a good platform on which the current authorities in Japan can use the information in an attempt to increase the efficiency of healthcare workers in the public and private hospitals throughout the country.
The researchers performed up to date methods of data analysis. They specifically used the multivariate and vicariate logistic regression data analysis to investigate the working conditions of the healthcare workers in Japan, and to determine its effects on the outcomes of the healthcare practices. The dependent variable which the researchers used in this particular study was (absent=0, present =1), while the dependent variables for the study were all the working conditions recognized in the study.
The researchers provided clear and error free results of the data analysis developed with the multivariate and bivariate techniques. By looking at each depended variable (working conditions), the researchers were able to provide quality information on effects of these variables on the independent variable. They have shown that errors within the hospital occur at certain times, when the working becomes difficult due to heavy workloads, stress, inexperience and fatigue. The results are well developed to fit within the focus of the study, and further show a high degree of validity as far as nursing practices in Japan are concerned.
Conclusion and recommendations
A conclusion statement has been provided in the article. The conclusion developed by the researchers in the article is relevant within the topic of the study. In addition, the conclusion arrived at is quite unique, and follows the results obtained in the data analysis section. The researchers have shown that the validity of the outcomes of nursing practices in the hospital can be improved by providing the workers with good working conditions, such that they are free of stress, heavy workload as well as to increase the experience of the workers.
Seki, Y., & Yamazaki, Y. (2006). Effects of working conditions on intravenous medication errors in a Japanese hospital. Journal of Nursing Management, 14(2), 128–139.