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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 58-64

Understanding the nature, contributing factors, and corrective actions of medication administration errors: Insights from Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Quality Management, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Health Care Quality Management and Patient Safety, Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar
3 Division of Pharmaceutical Care, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Akram M Bashaireh
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, 11211, P.O Box: 3354 - MBC: 19
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JQSH.JQSH_28_18

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Background: Medication errors continue to be a global patient safety concern as they are associated with a negative impact on morbidity and mortality and health-care costs. Research in Middle Eastern countries has been limited and focused on reporting on the incidence, type, and contributing factors with limited knowledge on the preventability and severity of medication errors and the corrective action taken from the reported medication errors. Materials and Methods: A retrospective, descriptive study design was used with selected clinical units in one hospital in the Middle East to gain insight into the incidence, type, location, level of severity, and causes of medication administration errors (MAEs) and the corrective actions taken. Data collected between February 17, 2014 and August 30, 2015, in the organization’s reporting system were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: The most frequent types of MAEs reported were delayed administration (23%) and wrong dose (15%), occurring in the clinical units (65%), ambulatory settings (18%), the pediatric children cancer center (11%), and the surgery division (3%). The majority of MAEs were rated as no harm (184 errors, 69%) followed by temporary harm (80 errors, 30%), with two incidents with pediatric patients resulting in permanent functional harm and one incident with a pediatric patient resulting in death. The majority of factors contributing to the MAEs involved staff factors including failure to follow policies and procedures (86%) followed by inadequate communication (17%). The most common corrective action was no action (30%) followed by counseling the staff involved in the MAE (29%), sharing at a unit or departmental meeting (25%), and training and educating the staff (15%) as a result of the error. Conclusion: Our study results delineated the nature, contributing factors, and corrective actions taken associated with reported MAEs. Future research is required to examine and explore the nature of MAEs, contributing factors, corrective actions taken, and exploration and examination of the impact of efforts to enhance MAE reporting and learning systems in hospitals.


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