Skip to main content

Table 5 The medication errors, the individual contributory factors and the system contributory factors in relation to the nurses’ work experience

From: Medication errors as malpractice-a qualitative content analysis of 585 medication errors by nurses in Sweden

   Nurse’s work experience  
   0–2 years >2 years p
   n = 55 N = 317  
Error type
1 Wrong dose 20 (36.4 %) 140 (44.2 %) 0.305
2 Wrong drug due to mix-up of drugs 9 (16.4 %) 51 (16.1 %) 1.000
3 Wrong patient due to mix-up of patients 14 (25.5 %) 34 (10.7 %) 0.007
4 Omission 3 (5.5 %) 35 (11.0 %) 0.332
5 Unauthorized drug 2 (3.6 %) 35 (11.0 %) 0.139
6 Wrong route 9 (16.4 %) 14 (4.4 %) 0.003
7 Wrong judgement or inadequate assessment of the patient’s need for treatment 1 (1.8 %) 9 (2.8 %) 1.000
8 Wrong management or storage of the drug 1 (1.8 %) 7 (2.2 %) 1.000
9 Allergy-related error 0 (0.0 %) 5 (1.6 %) 1.000
Individual contributory factor
1 Negligence, forgetfulness or lack of attentiveness 46 (83.6 %) 207 (65.3 %) 0.007
2 Proper protocol not followed 13 (23.6 %) 82 (25.9 %) 0.867
3 Lack of knowledge 17 (30.9 %) 37 (11.7 %) 0.001
4 Practice beyond scope of practice 1 (1.8 %) 48 (15.1 %) 0.004
5 Inappropiate communication 3 (5.5 %) 33 (10.4 %) 0.328
6 Disease or drug abuse 1 (1.8 %) 13 (4.1 %) 0.703
System contributory factor
1 Role overload 25 (45.5 %) 117 (36.9 %) 0.233
2 Unclear communication or orders 13 (23.6 %) 87 (27.4 %) 0.624
3 Lack of adequate access to guidelines or unclear organisational routines 9 (16.4 %) 97 (30.6 %) 0.035
4 Inappropriate location of medication or look-alike medication 7 (12.7 %) 40 (12.6 %) 1.000
5 Interruption or distraction when preparing or administering medication 8 (14.5 %) 22 (6.9 %) 0.064
6 Inadequate technique or pharmaceutical service 2 (3.6 %) 23 (7.3 %) 0.557
7 Pressure from patient/family or other staff members to satisfy the patient’s immediate needs 2 (3.6 %) 21 (6.6 %) 0.551
8 Administration in an emergency situation 1 (1.8 %) 6 (1.9 %) 1.000
  1. Table 5 shows the number of medication errors, individual contributory factors and system contributory factors (n and %) split by the nurses’ work experience: 0–2 years or >2 years. and p-values from Fisher’s exact test. Bold data show the statistically significant correlations