Patients’ Safety and Medical Errors

Table of Contents


Essentially, the purpose of this research is to analyze a research study concerning patients’ safety and medical errors. The article was authored by various researchers including Domenico Flotta, Paolo Rizza, Aida Bianco, Claudia Pileggi and Maria Pavia. In particular, the research focused on skills, attitudes, and the conduct of healthcare professionals.

In my perspective, it is evident that the study followed the research process substantially. In this regard, it has included detailed descriptions of the data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Nonetheless, there are several flaws that are inherent to this research study.

This critique will include several sections that include the protection of human participants, data collection, data management and analysis. Further, it will include interpretation of the findings, implications, possible future research, and a conclusion. As such, the outline of this critique will appear as shown in this list.

Protection of Human Participants’ Rights

Clearly, the researchers did not identify or explain the possible benefits that may emerge as a result of participations. Similarly, they did not indicate the risks associated with the participations. As such, there are benefits and risks that the researchers did not identify. In regard to the inherent benefits, the participants had the opportunity to review the healthcare systems’ errors and patients’ safety. In a critical sense, this was an opportunity to review their own performance, errors, and commitments to the safety of patients. Whereas this is a critical benefit, participants mostly experience risks of involvement (Northouse, 2010). The main risk of participation is trying to misrepresent the errors incurred in healthcare systems in order to maintain their proficiency status. This risk is based on the fact that a clinician might become biased when analyzing his or her performance.

Informed consent was obtained from the participants before the researchers sent the surveys to them. This consent was obtained verbally by calling the participants through their provided phone numbers. Although, this method served the purpose, it is not very recommendable. They should use a written request so that the conceding participants append their signature on the documented request (McBurney & White, 2010). This implies that they own all information provided in the process of the research study.

Nonetheless, the fact that the researchers obtained consent shows that the respondents participated voluntarily. In fact, the article indicates that the researchers forgone those who resented the request and pursued the next potential participant until consent was reached. This is a clear indication that they participated on a voluntary basis rather than coercion or administrative force. Further, the researchers indicate that they obtained an approval from an institutional review board. In particular, the research study received an approval from the Institutional Ethical Committee from the Hospital of Catanzaro.

Data Collection

In regard to data collection, it is evident that the researchers identified the independent variables clearly, but they did not identify the dependent variables. Although the dependent variables were not identified, it does not imply that they were not existent in the research study. Some of the identified independent variables were as shown in this list of variables.

  1. The attitude of clinicians towards the management personnel and errors.
  2. The frequency of incurring medical errors
  3. Knowledge of evidence

Besides, the researchers included predictor or regressing variables such as age, sex, and years of practice among others.

Having identified the various variables, the researchers collected data using survey method where they sent questionnaires to the conceding by email. The participants were expected to use a three-point scale when answering questions relating to errors. The frequency of involvement in medical errors was measured using the Likert Scale which included five data points. Whereas this method seems highly effective, the researcher did not provide a clear and convincing rationale as to why it was selected. The timeline of data collection and the overall researcher were not reported too. Nonetheless, the article outlines the full process of data collection step by step and exhaustively. They stratified the population into 20 sections whereby 40 hospitals were chosen. Out of these forty hospitals, 1200 participants were selected such that each of them provided 30 participants. The questionnaires, which were divided into different sections, were sent to them by email. In order to ensure common point of departure, the researchers defined medical errors. The participants then provide data using the Likert and the three-point scale for the causes and frequency of medical errors respectively.

Data Management and Analysis

The researchers used logistic regression method to analyze the data and make the appropriate conclusions (Flotta, Rizza, Bianco, Pileggi, & Pavia, 2012). In the same light, the author explains how they assured that the analysis process was rigor and thorough. For example, they revealed that the analysis used analytical software known as Stata 10.1. Further, they ensured that the percentage of responders was higher than that one of non-responders. This scenario reduced the bias and the possibility that the characteristics of the non-responders would nullify the findings made on the basis of the data provided by the responders.

Findings, Interpretation, Implications and Future Research

Having analyzed the data, the researchers interpreted it to the effect that the clinicians have a positive attitude towards the safety of patients. In addition, they interpreted that the physical counting of the surgical tools before surgery was a representation of the willingness of clinicians to ensure the safety of patients. These findings are valid and reliable because they are obtained from a large sample of about 696 and the data was rigorously analyzed. From these findings, the researchers made an implication and a suggestion that all the relevant stakeholders should ensure that the positive attitude of the clinicians towards patients’ safety should be put into practice intensely. Further, the researchers identified some limitations starting with the fact that self-administered questions might have tempted the respondents to over-report, misrepresent or under-report information. However, the presentation of the research was very logical because it focused on the major points of concern including attitude, physicians’ involvement in errors, and their knowledge about EBP safety measures.

In regard to the implications of the research, it is evident that the research findings can be applied to the general nursing profession. This applicability is based on the fact that medical errors and safety of patients are universal aspects of healthcare. However, the researchers did not identify clearly the suggestions for future research studies.


There is a significant congruence of the thesis statement with the findings of this critique. As stated in the thesis statement, it is clear that the research was substantially consistent with the research process. Having indicated this proposition, it is evident that the research can be considered as a credible reference point when it comes to improving the safety of patients and reducing medical errors. This implication is based on the fact that nurses have been found to embody a positive attitude towards the welfare and safety of their patients. In addition, the findings regarding the frequency of errors incurred during medical operations can form the basis of setting targets in the process of error reduction. In summary, it can be concluded that the knowledge of clinicians regard EBP safety measures is deficient and unreliable. Further, the clinicians have a positive attitude towards the improvement of safety and only 8% have not committed medical errors.


Flotta, D., Rizza, P., Bianco, A., Pileggi, C., & Pavia, M. (2012). International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 24(3), 258-265. Web.

McBurney, D., & White, T. (2010). Research methods (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership: theory and practice (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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