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Med J Aust. 2004 Jul 5;181(1):36-9.

Attitudes of doctors and nurses towards incident reporting: a qualitative analysis.

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1
Clinical Epidemiology and Health Outcomes Unit, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville, and Department of Medicine, University of Adelaide, SA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

(i) To examine attitudes of medical and nursing staff towards reporting incidents (adverse events and near-misses), and (ii) to identify measures to facilitate incident reporting.

DESIGN:

Qualitative study. In March 2002, semistructured questions were administered to five focus groups--one each for consultants, registrars, resident medical officers, senior nurses, and junior nurses.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING:

14 medical and 19 nursing staff recruited using purposive sampling from three metropolitan public hospitals in Adelaide, South Australia.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Attitudes and barriers to incident reporting; differences in reporting behaviour between disciplines; how to facilitate incident reporting.

RESULTS:

Cultural differences between doctors and nurses, identified using Triandis' theory of social behaviour, were found to underpin attitudes to incident reporting. Nurses reported more habitually than doctors due to a culture which provided directives, protocols and the notion of security, whereas the medical culture was less transparent, favoured dealing with incidents "in-house" and was less reliant on directives. Common barriers to reporting incidents included time constraints, unsatisfactory processes, deficiencies in knowledge, cultural norms, inadequate feedback, beliefs about risk, and a perceived lack of value in the process.

CONCLUSIONS:

Strategies to improve incident reporting must address cultural issues.

PMID:
15233611
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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