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BMC Nurs. 2012 Oct 18;11:20. doi: 10.1186/1472-6955-11-20.

Factors associated with reporting nursing errors in Iran: a qualitative study.

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Fatemeh (P,B,U,H) College of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.



Reporting the professional errors for improving patient safety is considered essential not only in hospitals, but also in ambulatory care centers. Unfortunately, a great number of nurses, similar to most clinicians, do not report their errors. Therefore, the present study aimed to clarify the factors associated with reporting the nursing errors through the experiences of clinical nurses and nursing managers.


A total of 115 nurses working in the hospitals and specialized clinics affiliated to Tehran and Shiraz Universities of Medical Sciences, Iran participated in this qualitative study. The study data were collected through a semi-structured group discussion conducted in 17 sessions and analyzed by inductive content analysis approach.


The main categories emerged in this study were: a) general approaches of the nurses towards errors, b) barriers in reporting the nursing errors, and c) motivators in error reporting.


Error reporting provides extremely valuable information for preventing future errors and improving the patient safety. Overall, regarding motivators and barriers in reporting the nursing errors, it is necessary to enact regulations in which the ways of reporting the error and its constituent elements, such as the notion of the error, are clearly identified.

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