AbuAlRub RF, Al-Akour NA, Alatari NH. Perceptions of reporting practices and barriers to reporting incidents among registered nurses and physicians in accredited and nonaccredited Jordanian hospitals. J Clin Nurs. 2015; 24:(19-20)2973-2982

Alrabadi N, Haddad R, Haddad R Medication errors among registered nurses in Jordan. J Pharm Health Serv Res. 2020; 11:(3)237-243

Azzopardi L. PASQIT – SA (LEARN). 2020;

Malta: Health system review. 2017.

Benn J, Koutantji M, Wallace L Feedback from incident reporting: information and action to improve patient safety. Qual Saf Health Care. 2009; 18:(1)11-21

Chiang HY, Lee HF, Lin SY, Ma SC. Factors contributing to voluntariness of incident reporting among hospital nurses. J Nurs Manag. 2019; 27:(4)806-814

Chiang HY, Pepper GA. Barriers to nurses' reporting of medication administration errors in Taiwan. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2006; 38:(4)392-399

Evans SM, Berry JG, Smith BJ, Esterman A, Selim P, O'Shaughnessy J, DeWit M. Attitudes and barriers to incident reporting: a collaborative hospital study. Qual Saf Health Care. 2006; 15:(1)39-43

Fitzgerald E, Cawley D, Rowan N. Irish staff nurses' perceptions of clinical incident reporting. International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery. 2011; 3:(2)14-21

Hewitt T, Chreim S, Forster A. Sociocultural factors influencing incident reporting among physicians and nurses: understanding frames underlying self- and peer-reporting practices. J Patient Saf. 2017; 13:(3)129-137

Resident duty hours: enhancing sleep, supervision, and safety.Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2009

Jember A, Hailu M, Messele A, Demeke T, Hassen M. Proportion of medication error reporting and associated factors among nurses: a cross sectional study. BMC Nurs. 2018; 17:(1)

Kaya S, Karaman S, Bilgin Demir İ, Ürek D, Kandemir A, Yiğit D. Attitudes and barriers to incident reporting for doctors and nurses in a university hospital's surgery departments. The Journal of Basic and Clinical Health Sciences. 2020;

Lee YH, Yang CC, Chen TT. Barriers to incident-reporting behavior among nursing staff: A study based on the theory of planned behavior. J Manage Organ. 2016; 22:(1)1-18

Lin YH, Ma S. Willingness of nurses to report medication administration errors in southern Taiwan: a cross-sectional survey. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2009; 6:(4)237-245

Macrae C. The problem with incident reporting: Table 1. BMJ Qual Saf. 2016; 25:(2)71-75

A national health systems strategy for Malta 2014-2020: Securing our health systems for future generations.Malta: Parliamentary Secretariat for Health/Ministry for Energy and Health, Valletta; 2014

Ministry for Health. A national health systems strategy for Malta 2023–2030: Investing successfully for a healthy future. 2022. (accessed 16 February 2023)

Parahoo K. Nursing research: principles, process and issues, 3rd edn. : Palgrave Macmillan; 2014

Petrova E, Baldacchino D, Camilleri M. Nurses' perceptions of medication errors in Malta. Nurs Stand. 2010; 24:(33)41-48

Polit DF, Beck C. Nursing research. generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice, 10th edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2017

Scerri C. The curvy side of dementia: the impact of gender on prevalence and caregiving. Journal of the Malta College of Pharmacy Practice. 2014; 20:37-39

Wallace LM, Spurgeon P, Benn J, Koutantji M, Vincent C. Improving patient safety incident reporting systems by focusing upon feedback – lessons from English and Welsh trusts. Health Serv Manage Res. 2009; 22:(3)129-135

World Health Organization. Patient safety. 2019. (accessed 10 February 2023)

Woo MWJ, Avery MJ. Nurses' experiences in voluntary error reporting: an integrative literature review. Int J Nurs Sci. 2021; 8:(4)453-469

ITU and oncology nurses to follow union directives following staff shortage. 2020. (accessed 10 February 2023)

Nurses' attitudes and barriers to incident reporting in Malta's acute general hospital

23 February 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 4


Although the science of patient safety has been developed and implemented widely, there remains a large gap in the understanding of the chain of events that lead to safety incidents, as well as their cost to patients, healthcare staff and the organisation as a whole. The aim of the study was to evaluate nurses' knowledge and awareness of the local incident reporting system at Malta's acute general hospital. A quantitative, descriptive cross-sectional design was used and data were collected from nurses through an online survey. A total of 323 questionnaires were received with a response rate of 23%. Various shortages within the local setting were identified, including lack of feedback and awareness of the system. Therefore, it is suggested that incident reporting should be given a higher profile on the organisation's agenda and incorporate employed members of staff rather than volunteers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2019) warns that patient harm is among the leading causes of the global disease burden, comparable with diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. Globally, it is estimated that every year, around 42.7 million patients endure adverse events when in hospital. These incidents are related to documentation, missed or wrong diagnosis, medication errors, drug prescription and administration errors, surgical complications and wrong decision-making (Institute of Medicine, 2009). There remains a large gap in the understanding of the particular chain of events, and the weaknesses and faults that lead to safety incidents, as well as their cost to patients, healthcare staff and the organisation as a whole. In order to develop the learning culture, the incident reporting system should be non-punitive and needs to provide timely, constructive and non-judgemental feedback to motivate staff to keep participating in the learning process (Benn et al, 2009; Woo and Avery, 2021).

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