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Factors causing or influencing nursing errors as perceived by nurses findings of a cross-sectional study in German nursing homes and hospitals

Factors causing or influencing nursing errors as perceived by nurses findings of a cross-sectional study in German nursing homes and hospitals

Journal of Public Health 21(2): 145-153

Nurses constitute an important group in identifying and preventing errors and risks in health care, but research on their perception of errors is scarce. This paper presents results of a representative study on health care errors, focusing on factors causing and influencing the occurrence of errors as perceived by nurses. Subject and methods The cross-sectional research design comprised descriptive and correlational parts. The sample consisted of 1,1 nurses employed at 3 hospitals and 46 nursing homes in Germany. Data were collected in 28/29 using a questionnaire listing 21 factors that can potentially cause or influence errors. Participants could choose up to three factors they deem the most important. Differences between the two settings and variables which might have an influence on the perception of error-causing factors were analyzed using cluster-adjusted methods. High workload, staff shortage and excessive labour topped the list. Hospital nurses more often chose workload and interruptions while nursing home nurses more often ranked lack of knowledge and lack of motivation as the most important. There are some significant variables such as years of professional experience and migration background that could affect nurses perception. The findings support other studies, pointing to workload issues and below-optimum work processes producing errors. Inter-sectoral differences suggest the necessity of sector-specific support in education and on-going training as well as risk and quality management.

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Accession: 036517094

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DOI: 10.1007/s10389-012-0527-6

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