Missed nursing care: errors of omission

Nurs Outlook. 2009 Jan-Feb;57(1):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2008.05.007.


This study examines what and why nursing care is missed. A sample of 459 nurses in 3 hospitals completed the Missed Nursing Care (MISSCARE) Survey. Assessment was reported to be missed by 44% of respondents while interventions, basic care, and planning were reported to be missed by > 70% of the survey respondents. Reasons for missed care were labor resources (85%), material resources (56%), and communication (38%). A comparison of the hospitals showed consistency across all 3 hospitals. Associate degree nurses reported more missed care than baccalaureate-prepared and diploma-educated nurses. The results of this study lead to the conclusion that a large proportion of all hospitalized patients are being placed in jeopardy because of missed nursing care or errors of omission. Furthermore, changes in Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations which will eliminate payment for acute care services when any one of a common set of complications occurs, such as pressure ulcers and patient falls, point to serious cost implications for hospitals.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S.
  • Communication Barriers
  • Educational Status
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Errors / methods
  • Medical Errors / nursing
  • Medical Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Michigan
  • Nursing Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Nursing Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Patient Care Planning / statistics & numerical data
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States