Do Errorless Methods Improve Discharge Medication Instruction and Adherence?


Purpose and Design 

Postdischarge adverse drug events are a national issue, and effective inpatient instruction may help. Therefore, this intervention study examined whether using errorless teaching/learning methods including pictorial medication cards (ETL + card) improved RN teaching and patient medication adherence among persons with cognitive challenges (PWCCs).


Convenience samples of RNs and PWCCs from a 24-bed rehabilitation unit provided baseline data. RNs implemented ETL + card, and postintervention data were collected. Adapted and investigator-designed instruments had preliminary reliability/validity.


Postintervention RNs demonstrated more teaching strategies (p = .003), and teaching satisfaction rose from 0% to 50%. Minutes per teaching interaction were unchanged (p > .05). Baseline patients filled a higher number (p = .02) but a lower percentage (67%) of their prescriptions than did postintervention patients (85%). Medication dose adherence scores were unchanged (p > .05).


ETL + card improved RN teaching and possibly patient adherence. Further study is warranted.

Clinical Relevance 

ETL + card may help PWCCs achieve safe medication self-management.