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Identifying, Reporting and Preventing Medical Errors Among Nurses Working in Critical Care Units At Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya: Closing the Gap Between Attitude and Practice

Authors: Jared Abuga, Wesley Too


Medical error is the third leading cause of death in US, with approximately 98,000 deaths occurring every year as a result of medical errors. The world financial burden of medication errors is roughly USD 42 billion. Medication errors may lead to at least one death daily and injure roughly 1.3 million people every year. Medical error reporting is essential in creating a culture of accountability in our healthcare system. Studies have shown that attitudes and practice of healthcare workers in reporting medical errors showed that the major factors in under-reporting of errors included work stress and fear of medico-legal consequences due to the disclosure of error. Further, the majority believed that increase in reporting medical errors would contribute to a better system. Most hospitals depend on nurses to discover medication errors because they are considered to be the sources of these errors, as contributors or mere observers, consequently, the nurse’s perception of medication errors and what needs to be done is a vital feature to reducing incidences of medication errors. We sought to explore knowledge among nurses on medical errors and factors affecting or hindering reporting of medical errors among nurses working at the emergency unit, KNH. Critical care nurses are faced with many barriers to completing incident reports on medication errors. One of these barriers which contribute to underreporting is a lack of education and/or knowledge regarding medication errors and the reporting process. This study, therefore, sought to determine the availability and the use of reporting systems for medical errors in critical care unity. It also sought to establish nurses’ perception regarding medical errors and reporting and document factors facilitating timely identification and reporting of medical errors in critical care settings. Methods: The study used cross-section study design to collect data from 76 critical care nurses from Kenyatta Teaching & Research National Referral Hospital, Kenya. Data analysis and results is ongoing. By October 2022, we will have analysis, results, discussions, and recommendations of the study for purposes of the conference in 2023

Keywords: errors, medical, kenya, nurses, safety

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