The Effect of Blue-Enriched Lighting on Medical Error Rate in a University Hospital ICU.

Publications // Yanjun Chen // Nov 16 2020

PubMed ID: 33341396

Author(s): Chen Y, Broman AT, Priest G, Landrigan CP, Rahman SA, Lockley SW. The Effect of Blue-Enriched Lighting on Medical Error Rate in a University Hospital ICU. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2020 Nov 16. pii: S1553-7250(20)30306-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2020.11.007. [Epub ahead of print] PMID 33341396

Journal: Joint Commission Journal On Quality And Patient Safety, Nov 2020

BACKGROUND Fatigue-related errors that occur during patient care impose a tremendous socioeconomic impact on the health care system. Blue-enriched light has been shown to promote alertness and attention. The present study tested whether blue-enriched light can help to reduce medical errors in a university hospital adult ICU.

METHODS In this interventional study, a blue-enriched white light emitting diode was used to enhance traditional fluorescent light at the nurse workstation and common areas in the ICU. Medical errors were identified retrospectively using an established two-step surveillance process. Suspected incidents of potential errors detected on nurse chart review were subsequently reviewed by two physicians blinded to lighting conditions, who made final classifications. Error rates were compared between the preintervention fluorescent and postintervention blue-enriched lighting conditions using Poisson regression.

RESULTS The study included a total of 1,073 ICU admissions, 522 under traditional and 551 under interventional lighting (age range 17-97 years, mean age ± standard deviation 58.5 ± 15.8). No difference was found in overall medical error rate (harmful and non-harmful) pre- vs. postintervention, 45.5 vs. 42.7 per 1,000 patient-days (rate ratio: 0.94, 95% confidence interval = 0.71-1.23, p = 0.64).

CONCLUSION Interventional lighting did not have an effect on overall medical error rate. The study was likely underpowered to detect the 25% error reduction predicted. Future studies are required that are powered to assess more modest effects for lighting to reduce the risk of fatigue-related medical errors and errors of differing severity.

Copyright © 2020 The Joint Commission. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.