Exploration of Nurses' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceived Barriers towards Medication Error Reporting in a Tertiary Health Care Facility: A Qualitative Approach

Pharmacy (Basel). 2018 Nov 5;6(4):120. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy6040120.


Medication error reporting (MER) is an effective way used to identify the causes of Medication Errors (MEs) and to prevent repeating them in future. The underreporting of MEs is a challenge generally in all MER systems. The current research aimed to explore nurses' knowledge on MER by determining their attitudes towards reporting and studying the implicated barriers and facilitators. A total of 23 nurses were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. The saturation point was attained after 21 interviews. All the interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim, and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Four major themes and 17 sub-themes were identified. Almost all the interviewees were aware about the existence of the MER system. They showed a positive attitude towards MER. The main barriers for MER were the impacts of time and workload, fear of investigation, impacts on the job, and negative reactions from the person in charge. The nurses were knowledgeable about MER but there was uncertainty towards reporting harmless MEs, thus indicating the need for an educational program to highlight the benefits of near-miss reporting. To improve participation strategies, a blameless reporting culture, reporting anonymously, and a simplified MER process should be considered.

Keywords: barriers; medication error; medication error reporting; nurses’ attitudes; qualitative study.