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Original Article
Year: 2024 I Volume: 6 I Issue: 2 I Pages I 1-9

Barriers in Reporting Administration, Transcribing and Dispensing Errors Among Clinical Nurses in A Tertiary Health Care Facility in Saudi Arabia

Mustafa AlDhoon1, Diana S. Lalithabai2 

1 Nursing Education and Practice Improvement Administration, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2 Nursing Evidence-Based Section, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

* Corresponding Author:

Mustafa AlDhoon, BSN

Email address:

Source of funding:  The research center at King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Conflict of interest: None

Submission date: 19 February 2024

Acceptance date:  10 April 2024

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Key words: Barriers, reporting system, medication error, nurses. Saudi Arabia.


Background: Medication errors significantly affect patient safety. Medical error reporting is sharing potential or actual medication errors occurring in the workplace by healthcare professionals. Reporting medication errors enhance safe practices. Despite the availability of an excellent user-friendly reporting system and a heightened awareness among healthcare professionals about the importance of reporting, some nurses still need help to report medication errors due to specific barriers that require identification. The current study explores barriers to medication error reporting perceived by frontline hospital staff in a tertiary healthcare facility in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2022 until March 2023. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS 25 (AMOS) and MS-ECD 10. Results: The number of nurses who participated in the study was 309. Barriers concerning fears were ranked the highest on the barriers scale, such as fear of disciplinary action, being blamed, losing the respect of co-workers, a non-anonymous reporting system, and fear of liability or lawsuits. Another barrier related to practicality is the extra time involved in documenting a medication error. Almost half, 45.63%, of nurses reported fear of liability or lawsuits (3.28 ± 1.27), 42.71 % reported a fear of disciplinary action (3.19 ± 1.24) and 42.72 % fear of being blamed (3.11 ± 1.25). The least significant reason for nurses not reporting medication errors was the lack of information on how to report a medication error. Conclusions: Nurses play an essential role in patient safety. Most of the participating nurses reported barriers related to fear. Reporting failure might potentially impact practice safety. Accordingly, we support and recommend empowering and encouraging nurses to report medication errors and create a safe climate in the healthcare setting.

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