Factors contributing to medication errors at the Kenyatta National Hospital
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Medication errors are among the most prevalent medical errors worldwide. The Institute of Medicine estimates 1.5 million preventable medication errors occur in the united states every year. Health care in Kenya has been largely susceptible to occurrences of medical mistakes and grave errors, some of which may have led to permanent disability and loss of life for the patients. 65% of medication errors detected had meaningful effect on patient’s health. Medication related deaths are estimated to be about 7000 each year. Failure to identify errors leads to repetition of mistakes and deteriorating patient safety in healthcare organizations. Although the error reporting system is the most commonly used method for identifying medication errors, there is significant under-reporting. This study aims to explain why under-reporting of medication errors happens and give recommendations on how there can be a shift of this practice so as to improve patient safety. This study sought to examine factors contributing to medication error reporting at the Kenyatta National Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department. The study design was cross sectional survey design. The study population included medical officers and nurses. A total of 110 staff were sampled for a self-administered questionnaire survey with a response rate of 96.4%. Survey questionnaire responses was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20.0. The study found that both organizational factors and individual factors contribute to under reporting of medication errors. Fear of punishment and being labelled as incompetent influenced individuals decision on not reporting a medication error when it happened. Lack of a clearly defined institutional system for medication error reporting and poor feedback mechanisms also contributed to poor reporting of medical errors in the hospital. Further research should be conducted to assess medication iv error rates and severity of the problem in KNH. Data on medical error reporting in various public and private institutions should be assessed in order to give a more generalizable report on medical errors and patient safety in Kenya.