Enhancing Patient Safety: Examining Factors Associated with Recovery of Medical Errors by Medical-Surgical Nurses




Gaffney, Theresa Adcock

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This thesis examined the relationships between nurse characteristics, organizational factors, and recovery of medical errors among medical-surgical nurses in hospitals. Research has focused on error causation rather than error recovery that consists of identifying, interrupting, and correcting errors before patient harm occurs. Greater understanding of factors that influence error recovery can aid in the development of strategies to reduce negative patient outcomes. A descriptive cross-sectional, correlational study was conducted using a convenience sample of 184 medical-surgical nurses across the country. Each medical-surgical nurse recovered, on average, 22 medical errors in a three-month period. Regression analysis using a negative binomial model revealed that three factors were significantly associated with medical error recovery; education (p = .001), expertise (p = .003), and hospital size (p = .016). Findings suggest that expert medical-surgical nurses with advanced education were better able to recover medical errors. Factors such as education and expertise should be considered when staffing units to reduce negative consequences and improve patient safety.



Nursing, Medical Errors, Near miss, Patient Safety, Recovered medical errors