The need to address poor numeracy skills in the emergency department environment

Eley, Robert, Sinnott, Michael, Steinle, Vicky, Trenning, Leeanne, Boyde, Mary and Dimeski, Goce (2014) The need to address poor numeracy skills in the emergency department environment. EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26 3: 300-302. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12207

Author Eley, Robert
Sinnott, Michael
Steinle, Vicky
Trenning, Leeanne
Boyde, Mary
Dimeski, Goce
Title The need to address poor numeracy skills in the emergency department environment
Journal name EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1742-6731
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1742-6723.12207
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 26
Issue 3
Start page 300
End page 302
Total pages 3
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Substantial evidence exists for lack of numerical skills among many health professionals. Although poor numeracy has long been recognised as a contributor to medication error, other activities for which numerical literacy are required, such as interpretation of diagnostic results, have been largely ignored. Poor self-awareness of lack of numerical literacy increases the risk, especially in the busy and hurried emergency environment. System changes, such as standardising units and improving number presentation, reduce the potential for misinterpretation; however system changes do not address the underlying deficiencies in mathematical skills. The training of doctors in numeracy has been largely ignored. In contrast, education for nurses frequently occurs during both pre- and post-registration programmes. Interventions have had mixed success, although additional emphasis in increasing conceptual understanding of numbers is encouraging. The consequences of poor numerical literacy should be addressed in all clinical staff, not only by practice change to remove the potential for errors to be made, but also complemented by self-awareness and education.
Keyword Emergency department
Health professional
Key skill
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
Official Audit
School of Medicine Publications
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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