Objective: Medication errors are the most common medical errors, which may result in some complications for patients. This study was carried out to investigate what influence medication errors by nurses from their viewpoint.
Methods: In this descriptive study, 150 nurses who were working in Qazvin Medical University teaching hospitals were selected by proportional random sampling, and data were collected by means of a researcher-made questionnaire including demographic attributes (age, gender, working experience,…), and contributing factors in medication errors (in three categories including nurse-related, management-related, and environment-related factors).
Findings: The mean age of the participant nurses was 30.7 ± 6.5 years. Most of them (87.1%) were female with a Bachelor of Sciences degree (86.7%) in nursing. The mean of their overtime working was 64.8 ± 38 h/month. The results showed that the nurse-related factors are the most effective factors (55.44 ± 9.14) while the factors related to the management system (52.84 ± 11.24) and the ward environment (44.0 ± 10.89) are respectively less effective. The difference between these three groups was significant (P = 0.000). In each aforementioned category, the most effective factor on medication error (ranked from the most effective to the least effective) were as follow: The nurse's inadequate attention (98.7%), the errors occurring in the transfer of medication orders from the patient's file to kardex (96.6%) and the ward's heavy workload (86.7%).
Conclusion: In this study nurse-related factors were the most effective factors on medication errors, but nurses are one of the members of health-care providing team, so their performance must be considered in the context of the health-care system like work force condition, rules and regulations, drug manufacturing that might impact nurses performance, so it could not be possible to prevent medication errors without paying attention to our health-care system in a holistic approach.
Keywords: Medication error; nurse; nursing workload.