The frequency of medication errors and factors influencing the lack of reporting medication errors in nursing at teaching hospital of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, 2012. 2015. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Bahadori M, Ravangard R, Aghili A, Sadeghifar J, Gharsi Manshadi M, Smaeilnejad J. The factors affecting the refusal of reporting on medication errors from the nurses' viewpoints: a case study in a hospital in Iran. ISRN Nurs. 2013; 2013

Related factors of medication errors and barriers of their reporting in the medical staff in hospitals of Gonabad University of Medical Sciences. 2014. https:///yywhrdpu (accessed 18 April 2019)

Brubacher JR, Hunte G, Hamilton L, Taylor A. Barriers to and incentives for safety event reporting in emergency departments. Healthc Q. 2011; 14:(3)57-65

Ghorbanpour Diz M, Mohammad Khan Kermanshahi S, Sedaghat M. Evaluation of self-report of the medication errors and its barriers in pediatric wards. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 2016; 3:(1)71-80

Hartnell N, MacKinnon N, Sketris I, Fleming M. Identifying, understanding and overcoming barriers to medication error reporting in hospitals: a focus group study. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012; 21:(5)361-368

Heard GC, Sanderson PM, Thomas RD. Barriers to adverse event and error reporting in anesthesia. Anesth Analg. 2012; 114:(3)604-614

Reasons of nurses' medication errors and perspectives of nurses on barriers of error reporting. 2012. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Hogan H, Healey F, Neale G, Thomson R, Vincent C, Black N. Preventable deaths due to problems in care in English acute hospitals: a retrospective case record review study. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012; 21:(9)737-745

James JT. A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care. J Patient Saf. 2013; 9:(3)122-128

Joolaee S, Hajibabaee F, Peyrovi H, Haghani H, Bahrani N. The relationship between incidence and report of medication errors and working conditions. Int Nurs Rev. 2011; 58:(1)37-44

Kagan I, Barnoy S. Organizational safety culture and medical error reporting by Israeli nurses. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013; 45:(3)273-280

Lederman R, Dreyfus S, Matchan J, Knott JC, Milton SK. Electronic error-reporting systems: a case study into the impact on nurse reporting of medical errors. Nurs Outlook. 2013; 61:(6)417-26

Makary MA, Daniel M. Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US. BMJ. 2016; 353

Prevalence, types of medication errors and barriers to reporting errors by nurses in an educational hospital in Kermanshah. 2013. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Survey: reasons of nurses' medication errors and perspectives of nurses on barriers of error reporting. 2016. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Moumtzoglou A. Factors impeding nurses from reporting adverse events. J Nurs Manag. 2010; 18:(5)542-547

Nurse managers' perspectives about reasons for not reporting medical errors in Firoozgar Hospital: 2012. 2014. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Survey of the medication errors and refusal to report medication errors from the viewpoints of nurses in hospitals affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. 2013. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Parellada Blanco J, Hidalgo Sánchez AO, del Rosario Cruz L, González Corrales Y. Eventos adversos en cuidados intensivos (Adverse events in intensive care). Revista Cubana de Medicina Intensiva y Emergencias. 2018; 17:1-16

Rafter N, Hickey A, Conroy RM The Irish National Adverse Events Study (INAES): the frequency and nature of adverse events in Irish hospitals—a retrospective record review study. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017; 26:(2)111-119

The investment of effective factors on medical errors and nonreporting from nurse's perspective. 2015. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Applying the theory of planned behavior to evaluate the clinical errors reported by nurses in general hospitals affiliated to Alborz University of Medical Sciences in Karaj in 2015. 2016. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Shojania KG, Thomas EJ. Trends in adverse events over time: why are we not improving?. BMJ Qual Saf. 2013; 22:(4)273-277

Vrbnjak D, Denieffe S, O'Gorman C, Pajnkihar M. Barriers to reporting medication errors and near misses among nurses: a systematic review. Int J Nurs Stud. 2016; 63:162-178

Wagner LM, Castle NG, Handler SM. Use of HIT for adverse event reporting in nursing homes: barriers and facilitators. Geriatr Nurs (Minneap). 2013; 34:(2)112-115

Yung HP, Yu S, Chu C, Hou IC, Tang FI. Nurses' attitudes and perceived barriers to the reporting of medication administration errors. J Nurs Manag. 2016; 24:(5)580-588

Assessing the barriers of error reporting from perspective of nurses in Kerman hospitals. 2016. (accessed 18 April 2019)

Zegers M, de Bruijne MC, Wagner C Adverse events and potentially preventable deaths in Dutch hospitals: results of a retrospective patient record review study. BMJ Quality & Safety. 2009; 18:297-302

Barriers to nurses reporting errors and adverse events

13 June 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 11



this study aimed to assess nurses' views about major barriers to reporting errors and adverse events in intensive care units.


a descriptive analytical study was used to examine barriers to reporting such events. A questionnaire was completed by 251 nurses across seven hospitals in Iran to elicit information about their views on reporting errors and adverse events.


the study identified three main areas that prevented the reporting of incidents—fear of the consequences after reporting an error, procedural barriers and management barriers.


the most important approach to overcoming barriers that prevent nurses reporting adverse events would be to develop an atmosphere within which all nurses can report errors and the reasons that led to their occurrence honestly and without fear.

Adverse events can result in patient disability or death, prolong the time necessary to provide care, increase healthcare costs and patient dissatisfaction (Joolaee et al, 2011; Wagner et al, 2013), and increase the stress experienced by nurses (Ghorbanpour Diz et al, 2016). Such events can be categorised as errors in procedures, knowledge and skills (Kagan and Barnoy, 2013).

An adverse event is an instance when a patient's care has been compromised and may indicate that the care delivered was suboptimal. Common instances of adverse events include medication errors, healthcare-acquired infections, postoperative complications, delayed diagnoses, fall-related injuries and pressure ulcers (Shojania and Thomas, 2013).

Work in the Netherlands, the UK and USA has investigated potentially preventable deaths attributable to adverse events, suggesting that they could be responsible for 0.9–5.2% of hospital deaths. Research undertaken over the past 15 years has estimated that every year medical errors could be responsible for 1735 deaths in Dutch hospitals (Zegers et al, 2009); 11 859 in English hospitals (Hogan et al, 2012); and around 400 000 deaths in US hospitals (James, 2013). In the USA, adverse events have been ranked as the third leading cause of death in 2016 (Makary and Daniel, 2016).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content