|M.Sc Student||Haim Nitzan|
|Subject||Medication Dosage Calculation in Paramedics Practice:|
Design and Test of a Graphic Dosage Calculator as
a Cognitive Aid
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Avi Parush|
|Full Thesis text|
Medical errors are an important factor that can degrade the quality of patient care. Paramedics engaged in pre-hospital emergency medicine are often required to conduct medication calculations under unique pressures due to the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of their working environment. Many medication errors are caused by dosage miscalculation, particularly with children. Paramedic encounters with children are infrequent, which result in little real life practice with the drug calculation necessary to treat this patient group. To address the problem, this study aimed at developing and testing a graphic dose calculator for paramedics. The first phase was a user research, including interviews and document reviews. This was the basis for designing and developing a graphic dose calculator, which performs the calculation and guides the medication preparation. The second phase was a controlled experiment comparing the use of the graphic calculator with the current handbook used for dose calculation. Novice and experienced paramedics computed medication dose through pediatric scenarios and simulated preparing the medication. The findings show that it takes less time to calculate the dose and prepare the medication using the calculator. In addition, the usability of the calculator scored high, and it was preferred over the current handbook, even by the experienced paramedics.