• Instrument development;
  • nursing surveillance;
  • medical errors;
  • patient safety


Purpose: To describe the development and psychometric testing of the Recovered Medical Error Inventory (RMEI).

Design and Methods: Content analysis of structured interviews with expert critical care registered nurses (CCRNs) was used to empirically derive a 25-item RMEI. The RMEI was pilot tested with 345 CCRNs. The data set was randomly divided to use the first half for reliability testing and the second half for validation. A principal components analysis with Varimax rotation was conducted. Cronbach's alpha values were examined. A t test and Pearson correlation were used to compare scores of the two samples.

Findings: The RMEI consists of 25 items and two subscales. Evidence for initial reliability includes a total scale alpha of .9 and subscale alpha coefficients of .88 (mistake) and .75 (poor judgment).

Conclusions: The RMEI subscales have satisfactory internal consistency reliability and evidence for construct validity. Additional testing is warranted.

Clinical Relevance: A tool to measure CCRNs’ experiences with recovering medical errors allows quantification of nurse surveillance in promoting safe care and preventing unreimbursed hospital costs for treating nosocomial events.