NRSG 314 Discuss the most frequent cause and incidence rate of medication errors at a medical facility.

NRSG 314 Discuss the most frequent cause and incidence rate of medication errors at a medical facility.

NRSG 314 Discuss the most frequent cause and incidence rate of medication errors at a medical facility.

Unit 2 Assignment: Medication Errors

Health care facilities should be safe settings for patients and health care practitioners. At the administrative level, organizations’ leaders should ensure health care staff is adequately facilitated and workplace issues are addressed timely and satisfactorily. Besides, patient safety, care quality, and efficient processes should be prioritized. Although many organizations apply diverse measures to enhance patient safety, many adverse events still occur. Nurses should be adequately aware of the causes of adverse events and their role in reducing them. The purpose of this paper is to describe medication errors as a leading adverse event and appropriate measures for reducing errors.

Cause and Incidence Rate of Medication Errors

After joining a facility, new nurses look forward to cooperation with experienced colleagues, management support, and leaders’ continuous guidance. Providing the necessary support and guidance requires health care organizations to have adequate nurses and nurse leaders. However, this is not the case due to the prevalence of the nursing shortage, which is among the leading causes of medication errors. Salar et al. (2020) explained that most medication errors happen due to the nursing shortage, which increases the nurses’ ratio to patients. A nursing shortage increases fatigue and workplace stress among nurses. As a result, they cannot concentrate fully as the practice requires; thus, they are highly likely to administer drugs without confirmation or erring in reading labels. The incidence rate of medication errors varies across organizations and health care professionals. Salar et al. (2020) found that 39% of medication errors are caused by general practitioners and nurse-specific incidences ranging between 16-27%. The high prevalence poses a significant to patient safety and quality care hence the need for practical and lasting interventions.

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Continuous Quality Improvement

Health care organizations should embrace quality improvement and support quality improvement initiatives.

NRSG 314 Discuss the most frequent cause and incidence rate of medication errors at a medical facility.
NRSG 314 Discuss the most frequent cause and incidence rate of medication errors at a medical facility.

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) involves asking what is being done in patient care delivery and what is needed to achieve excellence (Tibeihaho et al., 2021). Due to its benefits, nurse leaders and staff identify performance gaps and their causes and intervene appropriately. An effective CQI initiative for addressing a nursing shortage is supporting nurses to cope with the shortage. Generally, health care facilities do not have adequate financial resources to support the continuous recruitment and training of nurses. Enabling nurses to cope through training, empowerment programs, and self-care opportunities could play a vital role in preventing nurse burnout. Preventing nurse burnout reduces nurses’ chances of committing medication errors since they are not fatigued, stressed, or dissatisfied. The first part of the initiative should be identifying the causes of medication errors and the relationship with a nursing shortage. Next, the most appropriate coping strategy should be implemented depending on the magnitude of the problem. Outcome measures include a progressive reduction in medical errors, engaging in teamwork, and participating in activities that foster health and well-being.

The rationale for Reducing Medication Errors

Reducing medication errors implies a proportional increase in positive outcomes. In the United States, approximately 7000-9000 people die due to medication errors (Tariq et al., 2018). The number could be higher considering that a significant proportion of patients do not report adverse reactions related to medication complications. As a result, reducing medication errors is instrumental in reducing deaths and health complications related to medication errors. Tariq et al. (2018) added that medication errors lead to patient dissatisfaction and low trust in health care professionals. It is crucial to prevent such outcomes to promote progressive organizational growth. Reducing medication errors also increases nurses’ self-confidence and ensures they are not victims of the second-victim syndrome, which is typical among nurses who commit errors leading to death and health complications.

Nurses’ Actions to Reduce Medication Errors

Nurses have a personal and professional responsibility to reduce medication errors. One of the nurses’ actions that can assist in preventing medication errors is timely reporting of incidences. Reporting is founded on the precept that erring is human, as underscored in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report (Afaya et al., 2021). Timely reporting encourages a collaborative approach to solution implementation as nurses learn from their mistakes to prevent a recurrence. Nurses should also embrace teamwork to learn from experienced colleagues about medication administration. Teamwork also gives nurses the needed support to confirm drugs before administering them to patients. Above all, nurses should embrace technology to reduce medication errors. For instance, barcode scanning is effective in confirming drugs hence reducing possible errors.


Whether new or experienced in practice, nurses are likely to commit medication errors more than other practitioners. Causes vary depending on the facility and the type of patient activities that a nurse is allowed to undertake in an organization. As explained in this paper, the nursing shortage is a leading cause of medication errors. Exhaustion and stress stemming from a high workload prevent nurses from concentrating fully and delivering care as expected. As a result, a CQI initiative focusing on addressing the nursing shortage can help to reduce medication errors. Nurses should also embrace teamwork, timely reporting, and technology in patient care to prevent errors.


Afaya, A., Konlan, K. D., & Kim Do, H. (2021). Improving patient safety through identifying barriers to reporting medication administration errors among nurses: An integrative review. BMC Health Services Research21(1), 1-10.

Salar, A., Kiani, F., & Rezaee, N. (2020). Preventing the medication errors in hospitals: A qualitative study. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences13, 100235.

Tariq, R. A., Vashisht, R., Sinha, A., & Scherbak, Y. (2018). Medication dispensing errors and prevention.Statpearls [Internet].

Tibeihaho, H., Nkolo, C., Onzima, R. A., Ayebare, F., & Henriksson, D. K. (2021). Continuous quality improvement as a tool to implement evidence-informed problem solving: experiences from the district and health facility level in Uganda. BMC Health Services Research21(1), 1-11.