Article Practice| Volume 61, ISSUE 1, P43-50, January 2013

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Nurses’ disclosure of error scenarios in nursing homes



      Little work has explored the disclosure of errors in nursing homes (NHs).


      This paper reports how nurses would disclose hypothetical errors that occur in NH settings.


      A cross-sectional survey was given to a randomly selected sample of registered nurses (RNs) and registered practical nurses (RPNs) working in Ontario, Canada NHs.


      Of 1,180 respondents, only half might provide full details and the cause of the error and provide steps in how the error would be prevented if they were in situations described by the hypothetical scenarios. Scenarios that were less serious had an almost 3 times higher likelihood of an explicit apology (OR 2.97; 95% CI 1.36-6.51; P = 0.007). Nurses who were RNs, had more education, had a prior history of disclosing a serious error, and agreed with full disclosure were more likely to respond to disclosing more information about the error. Nurses also reported numerous barriers to effective disclosure in their workplace.


      Improvements in NH safety culture are necessary to enhance the error disclosure process.


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