What Factors May Prevent Pharmacy Staff from Reporting Medication Errors?


Hospitals often discuss the importance of reporting errors, but is lack of feedback to blame why some pharmacists may not report errors?

In this clip, Matthew Grissinger, BSPharm, who is the director of error reporting programs with ISMP, offers advice for health-system pharmacists on why pharmacists may not report medication errors.


Some of the most common recent staff medication errors at a hospital include purely lack of time, the error printing process or program used is time consuming. Even if you as a user think it takes five minutes, the perception that it is gonna take me 10-15 minutes to fill out a report, will inhibit someone from actually doing that. And I think, most importantly, is a lack of feedback. Often hospitals will go through this process of promoting the reporting of errors. Pharmacists will report these errors and a couple months later they hear nothing back. And after a while as a pharmacist you’re thinking I’m putting all these errors but I’m getting no feedback so what’s the point, our report must be going into a black hole. And so those are just some of the common reasons why people aren’t reporting errors is just the lack of feedback, not knowing the report, and it just takes too much time to fill out a report.

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