Medication errors: Nurse's Perceptions of main types and leading factors, and reporting attitudes in North West Bank Governmental Hospitals.

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Zaher Nazzal / Supervisor
Dr. Maher Khadoor / External Examiner
Dr. Hamzeh Alzabadi / Internal Examiner
Dr. Zaher Nazzal / Supervisor
Rana Abdelrazaq Lutfi Al-Sarawan
Background: Medication errors are considered as public health problem due to the harm they cause to the patient through increasing the mortality and morbidity rates, to the healthcare system through increasing the cost, and to the healthcare provider who may loss his confidence in his capabilities and in the system, so considerable efforts have been directed to medication errors in the recent years globally, so this study had been conducted to describe nurse’s perception about the main types, leading factors, reporting attitude and main obstacles against reporting medication errors. Methods: This is a descriptive cross sectional study, total number 340 nurses in 6 governmental hospitals in north west bank, were approached in the hospitals where they work, during their work shifts, and asked to answer a self administer questionnaire of 6 parts developed according to the literature, 200 nurses completed it. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. Results: The response rate was 59%, and the most common perceived type of medication errors was wrong time, were 79% of nurses reported that medication given one hour before or after intended time is occurs frequently, more serious types of medication errors was reported to occur in less frequency. While heavy work load was reported as the first leading factor for medication error reported by 80% of the nurses followed by in adequate staff. 22% of the nurses said that they do not report their ME by any mean; however 78% of the nurses said that they report medication error they commit verbally and 59% of them said that they write an incidence report too if they commit a medication error, nurses working experience more than 5 years where associated with higher percent of the nurses who report their medication errors using incidence error, p value 0.014.Thinking that the error had been committed is not serious and not needed to be reported was the most common obstacle against reporting medication error, and while most of the nurses said that they know the exact definition of medication errors and when to report them, case scenarios showed that a big gap exists between actual knowledge and what is perceived. Conclusion and Recommendations: Medication errors are committed in the Palestinian hospitals, personal factors and shortage of nurses and the heavy load on the governmental hospitals are the main contributing factors. More efforts should be paid by policy makers, and managers to identify and solve underlying causes and unified clear definition of ME should be more attention for reporting medication errors should be given.
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