80% of nurses say workload can make it hard to follow safety measures

More than 80 percent of nurses admit that their workload makes it difficult to implement patient safety measures, new research has found. 

The most frequent errors that affect patient safety are medication-related, but can also include machine and technology mishaps as well as patient falls. 

Experts from Najran University Hospital in Saudi Arabia examined 400 healthcare team members including nurses, physicians and aide professionals and looked at the characteristics of nursing-induced errors and strategies to reduce their frequency. 

Their research, which was published in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, found that "22 percent of the nurses said they had made mistakes that put a patient's safety at risk, and 4 percent said their mistakes had hurt a patient. Ten percent of the nurses who made a medical mistake said that a patient's treatment took longer than it should have, and 6 percent said that the patient had side effects." 

In other instances, nearly 25 percent reported making medical mistakes such as "delaying or not giving a patient treatment," and around 20 percent of nurses admitted to using instruments without checking them first. Meanwhile, 33 percent of study participants reported having a low perception of strategies they can use to reduce these errors.   

These findings prompted researchers to develop recommendations to reduce the frequency of error-induced patient safety mistakes including providing teams with training on patient safety and how to improve it; continuously assessing nursing errors; further researching factors that lead to errors; and studying the reliability of new safety measures after they are implemented.

"There is room for improvement in areas such as the prevention of escape equipment injury and avoiding documentation errors," researchers wrote of their findings. "These findings serve as a valuable contribution to the ongoing efforts to enhance patient safety and improve the overall quality of healthcare services. By identifying areas for improvement and providing practical solutions, the study provides valuable insight for healthcare administrators, practitioners, and policymakers to effectively reduce nursing errors and enhance patient care."

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