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Literature Search on Medication Errors Essay

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To find appropriate literature for my research on medical errors, I used the databases and search engines recommended by the Walden Library. CINAHL Plus was an obvious choice as it provides a comprehensive list of sources, including the peer-reviewed journal articles that I was in particular interested in. This database facilitated the process of identifying the search terms that could help me to detect useful literature. During Week 1, I defined the issue of medication errors, so I used Boolean operators and looked for “medication OR medical OR drug or medicine” AND “errors OR omissions.” Similarly, I examined PubMed because it contains the MEDLINE database as well as some other items. As for search engines, I operated only with Google Scholar because I was familiar with it and reckoned it superior to others. These resources were sufficient to draw conclusions about the state of affairs regarding the problem of medication errors.

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Nevertheless, I faced some problems with retrieving useful sources that can contribute to my research. The first challenge that I overcame was the absence of the full text on Google Scholar, where I could not limit my search according to the availability. To deal with the issue, I connected the engine to the University and was able to use the “Find@Walden” button to read the whole article. This way, I examined “Chemotherapy medication errors” (Weingart et al., 2018) that can contribute to my studies. Besides, I encountered a few articles that I could have considered useful if they had been written at least five years ago. In case of outdated yet helpful papers, I searched for those who referred to them in more recent pieces of writing. By the end of the process, I was confident that all the difficulties with literature retrieval could be overcome through advanced settings.

Over the last year, more than 10,800 research articles about medication errors were published, indicating that the issue is relevant and multifaceted. For example, I found the studies on drug preparation time (Siebert et al., 2019) and the pharmacists’ management plan (Tong et al., 2017). They demonstrate that medication errors were approached from different perspectives, and more research is necessary. Even though I completed the task by myself, I may need help in the future. In this case, I can consult the guides on the Internet or ask my colleagues who have conducted a literature search before.


Siebert, J. N., Bloudeau, L., Ehrler, F., Combescure, C., Haddad, K., Hugon, F., Suppan, L., Rodieux, F., Lovis, C., Gervaix, A., & Manzano, S. (2019). A mobile device app to reduce prehospital medication errors and time to drug preparation and delivery by emergency medical services during simulated pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation: Study protocol of a multicenter, prospective, randomized controlled trial. Trials 20(1), 634-645. Web.

Tong, E. Y., Roman, C. P., Mitra, B., Yip, G. S., Gibbs, H., Newnham, H. H., Smit, D. V., Galbraith, K., & Dooley, M. J. (2017). Reducing medication errors in hospital discharge summaries: A randomized controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 206(1), 36-39. Web.

Weingart, S. N., Zhang, L., Sweeney, M., & Hassett, M. (2018). Chemotherapy medication errors. The Lancet Oncology, 19(4), e191-e199. Web.

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