Factors contributing to medication errors in Turkey: nurses' perspectives

Authors


Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of nurses with regard to medication errors.

Background

Medication errors result in a significant proportion of the deaths related to avoidable medical errors in hospitals.

Design

A descriptive cross-sectional study.

Method

This study was conducted on 243 nurses working in two state hospitals in Turkey. Data collection was by means of a questionnaire developed by the researchers. Medication errors were explored in three areas: types of error, contributing factors and reporting of errors.

Result

Among the most frequent types of errors were administration of drugs not ordered by the doctor, administration of a drug prepared by someone else and administration of a drug to the wrong patient. Contributing factors for medication errors included ‘having to write an order in place of the physician’, and ‘an oral request being given in a non-urgent situation’.

Conclusion

These results show the need for a multi-disciplinary approach in the prevention of errors.

Implications for nursing management

Hospital administrations should maintain adequate staffing levels. Improving medication error reporting is also imperative in order to enable nurses to document all errors and potential errors as adverse events.

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