The purpose of this paper is to investigate the prevalence of medication errors (MEs) and the factors affecting them among nurses of hospitals affiliated to Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences (KUMS) in 2016.
This is a cross-sectional and descriptive-analytic study. In total, 503 nurses were selected using census method from six hospitals affiliated to KUMS. A self-constructed questionnaire was employed to collect information on nurses’ socio-demographic characteristics (6 items), the prevalence and type of MEs (21 items) and their perceptions about the main causes of MEs (40 items). Data were collected from August 15 to October 15, 2016. In addition, nonparametric and linear regression tests were used to describe the descriptive statistics and analyze the data.
The response rate was 73 percent and the monthly reported MEs per nurse was 6.27±11.95. Giving medication at non-scheduled time (28.4 percent), giving multiple oral medications together (22.4 percent) and giving painkillers after operation without physician’s prescription (15.3 percent) were three types of repetitive MEs, respectively. Gender, work experience, and having a second job affected the total number of MEs. “Long and unconventional nursing shifts,” “changing the dosage of medications for patients under observation due to multiple consultations and different doctors’ orders” as well as “failure to give feedback about the causes of errors to nurses by supervisors” were the three prioritized factors for MEs.
There is a need to reduce MEs in order to improve patient safety. It seems that in order to reduce MEs, systemic and managerial reforms such as reducing the working hours and workload of nurses, giving feedback about the causes of MEs to nurses, and using initiatives to reduce the stress in nurses are necessary.
The authors would like to thank all the nurses who participated in this study. This paper is the result of a research project approved and funded by Vice-Chancellor for Research of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences.
Piroozi, B., Mohamadi-Bolbanabad, A., Safari, H., Amerzadeh, M., Moradi, G., Usefi, D., Azadnia, A. and Gray, S. (2019), "Frequency and potential causes of medication errors from nurses’ viewpoint in hospitals affiliated to a medical sciences University in Iran", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 267-275. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-11-2018-0072
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