Factors influencing medication errors according to nurses’ decisions to do self-report

Foad Rahimi, Soheila Ahangarzadeh Rezaei, Rahim Baghaei, Aram Feizi


Background: There are many factors associated with medication errors. These errors are mainly related to nursing care, including error in medication administration and omission. Nurses make up the largest group of health workers. Hence, quality of health care depends to a great extent to nurses. Nurses who work in hospitals with inadequate human resources and have more working hours are more likely to commit errors. This study aimed at determining the incidence of medication errors and factors affecting it according to nurses’ self-report.

Methods: This is a descriptive analytical study in which 100 nurses in beast hospital in Sanandaj, Iran were selected randomly from different shifts. The questionnaire consisted of 2 sections. The first section consisted of 17 questions on demographic information including age, sex, type of activity, duration of service, hospital ward and location, error during the years of service, reporting or non-reporting of mistakes and type of mistake. The second part of the tool consisted of 25 items rated to 1-to-5 likert scale, which checked out medical errors in 5 domains. For ethical issues, anonymous questionnaires were distributed with bar codes. Then the data were entered into SPSS version 16 and analyzed.

Results: All the participants in this study had a history of medication error in the previous year. In 12% of the cases, association between workload and medication error were too high, 22% was high, 54% was average and 6% was low.

Conclusions: The results of this study showed that the most important factors affecting the incidence of errors include workplace stress, working in the intensive care units, tiredness due to work load, and inappropriate nurse physician relationship. Hence, identification of these factors helps nurses to reduce errors and helps reduce other medical consequences and improve in the quality of patient care and patient safety. Regarding the importance of patient safety it is necessary to improve positive relationship between nurse managers and nursing staff. Therefore, an environment of close collaboration, in-service training for new nurses regarding medication errors, and creating a reporting system is necessary.


Medication error, Nurse, Patient safety, Self-reported questionnaire

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