Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Candice Rome

Abstract

Studies have shown that medication administration errors are a critical issue in healthcare and more importantly preventing this type of error depends on precise reporting. Analysis of medication errors can lead to healthcare system improvement and reduced risk if the errors are detected, reported, and used to formulate improved patient care practices and systems. Nurses are the front line of defense to intercept and report errors. Through a review of the literature, it has been determined that nurses possibly fear blame and punishment when a Medication Administration Error (MAE) occurs; therefore, the purpose of this Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Thesis was to examine whether nurses avoid reporting MAEs due to perceived fears of retribution. A quantitative cross-section correlative design was used to implement the study. The Medication Administration Error (MAE) Reporting Survey was utilized as the survey instrument. The study sample was comprised of registered nurses working on various inpatient units. The subjects were recruited through convenience sampling, with 48 participants being used for the study. The data was analyzed by calculating means and standard deviations for individual items and for subscales, and correlational analyses were conducted to determine if an association exists between perceived reporting barriers and perceived frequency of reporting. The study identified that the primary perceived barriers to reporting MAEs were fear related. Nurses indicated that additional barriers to reporting are due to not receiving positive feedback for passing medications correctly and that nurses may not think that the error is important enough to be reported. Also identified in this study, is the fact that nurses perceive that medication errors are underreported; although no correlation was found to exist between perceived reporting barriers and nurses' perceptions of the frequency of medication error reporting.

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