Publication: Physicians' and nurses' medical errors associated with communication failures.
To determine medical errors associated with communication failures among physicians and nurses.
This cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted at 20 state hospitals and 14 training and research hospitals affiliated with the Istanbul City Health Directorate in Turkey, and comprised physicians and nurses. Data were collected between August 2012 and February 2013. A 16-item questionnaire was used that included questions regarding socio-demographic features such as age, gender, educational status, institution, occupation and working years. Questions also aimed at determining medical errors related to communication failures. The questionnaire was completed by the participants during face-to-face interviews.
Of the 2,273 participants, 1,654(72.8%) were nurses and 619(27.2%) were physicians. Besides, 340(54.9%) physicians and 811(49.03%) nurses worked in state hospitals. The mean age of the physicians was 37.76±9.20 years (range: 22-62 years), and that of the nurses was 32.61±7.38 years (range: 17-62 years). Moreover, 137(22.1%) physicians and 258(15.3%) nurses had previously experienced medical errors. Also, 74(54%) physicians and 135(52.3%) nurses had experienced medical errors due to some communication error. The most common medical errors by physicians were incorrect drug administration 45(32.8%), and delivery of drugs to the wrong patient by nurses 103(40.7%). In addition, 58(42.3%) physicians made medical errors in adult surgical clinic services while 102(39.5%) nurses made medical errors in adult internal medicine clinics.
The majority of medical errors originated from communication failures.