Background and Objectives:
Medical errors (MEs) are one of the main factors affecting the quality of hospital services and reducing patient safety in health care systems, especially in developing countries. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of ME in Iran.
This is a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of extracted data. The databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane, SID, Magiran, and Medlib were searched in Persian and English, using a combination of medical subject heading terms (“Medical Error” [Mesh] OR “Medication error” [Mesh] OR “Hospital Error” AND (“Iran” [Mesh]) for observational and interventional studies that reported ME rate in Iran from January 1995 to April 2019. We followed the STROBE checklist for the purpose of this review.
The search yielded a total of 435 records, of which 74 articles were included in the systematic review. The rate of MEs in Iran was determined as 0.35%. The rates of errors among physicians and nurses were 31% and 37%, respectively. The error rates during the medication process, including prescription, recording, and administration, were 31%, 27%, and 35%, respectively. Also, incidence of MEs in night shifts was higher than in any other shift (odds ratio [OR] = 38%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 31%-45%). Moreover, newer nurses were responsible for more errors within hospitals than other nurses (OR = 57%; 95% CI: 41%-80%). The rate of reported error after the Health Transformation Plan was higher than before the Health Transformation Plan (OR = 40%; CI: 33%-49% vs OR = 30%; CI: 25%-35%).
This systematic review has demonstrated the high ME rate in Iranian hospitals. Based on the error rate attributed solely to night shifts, more attention to the holistic treatment process is required. Errors can be decreased through a variety of strategies, such as training clinical and support staff regarding safe practices and updating and adapting systems and technologies.