Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Vickie Walker

Abstract

Medication errors have been a long and growing problem within all health care areas. Prevention and education is the key to prevent the errors from occurring. All efforts must be made to achieve an overall goal of an error-proof health care society. The purpose of this study was to determine if the anonymity of medication error reporting would make a difference in the amount of medication errors reported. Research has shown that many nurses and health care professionals find it stressful to report an error due to fear of disciplinary action or blame; a no-blame culture must be implemented into our health care society. By making the reporting process anonymous nurses and health care professionals may find it less stressful to report a medication error, Neuman's system model was used as a conceptual framework regarding the feelings of the healthcare professional when the medication error occurs.

Findings from this study showed a decrease in the amount of medication errors reported once the reporting process became anonymous. The study was limited in that the results tallied were from the conception of the new anonymous reporting program. Perhaps the study could have shown different results after the anonymous program had been used for more time then just three months. Reporting of medication errors, whether it is anonymous or not, should be encouraged within the health care system so that we can further educate how to prevent medication errors from occurring in the future.

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