Vaccination errors in general practice: creation of a preventive checklist based on a multimodal analysis of declared errors

Fam Pract. 2016 Aug;33(4):432-8. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmw026. Epub 2016 May 3.


Background: Vaccination is a common act in general practice in which, as in all procedures in medicine, errors may occur. To our best knowledge, in this area, few tools exist to prevent them.

Objective: To create a checklist that could be used in general practice in order to avoid the main errors.

Methods: From April to July 2013, we systematically searched for vaccination errors using three sources: a review of literature, individual interviews with 25 health care workers and supervised peer review groups meeting at the Medicine school of Saint-Etienne (France). The errors most frequently retrieved were used to create the checklist that was regularly submitted to interviewed caregivers to improve its construction and content; its stabilization has been conceived as an evidence of finalization.

Results: The checklist's draw-up included three parts allowing verification at each stage of the vaccination process: before, during and after the vaccine administration. Before the vaccination, items to be checked were mainly does my patient need and may he/she receive this vaccine in accordance with the national French vaccination guidelines? During the preparation and the administration of vaccination, items to be checked were are the patient and the practitioner comfortable? Is all the material needed correctly prepared? Is the appropriate route defined? Ultimately, after the vaccination, most items to be checked concerned traceability. This checklist seemed useful and usable by the panel of practitioners questioned.

Conclusion: This vaccination checklist may be useful to prevent errors. Its efficacy and feasibility in clinical practice will require further testing.

Keywords: Immunization; medical errors/patient safety; physician competency; practice management; primary care..

MeSH terms

  • Checklist / methods*
  • Checklist / statistics & numerical data
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • France
  • General Practice / standards*
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Patient Safety
  • Practice Management, Medical / organization & administration
  • Vaccination*