Factors associated with self-reported medical errors among healthcare workers: a cross-sectional study from Oman
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Background: Despite efforts to improve patient safety, medical errors remain prevalent among healthcare workers. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between self-reported medical errors, occupational outcomes and sociodemographic variables. Methods: The study employed a cross-sectional design to survey healthcare workers at a large tertiary hospital in Muscat, Oman. The survey questionnaire included socio-demographic variables, a self-assessment of medical errors, work–life balance, occupational burnout and work related bullying. Results: A total of 297 healthcare workers participated in this study. In this sample, the average of self-reported medical errors was 5.4 +/- 3.3. The prevalence of work–life imbalance, bullying and moderate/high burnout was 90.2%, 31.3% and 19.5%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that gender, nationality, age, profession, occupational burnout and bullying were significantly associated with self-reported medical error. Being male was associated with higher self-reported medical errors compared to female workers (β=1.728, P < 0.001). Omani workers reported higher medical errors compared to their non-Omani colleagues (β=2.668, P < 0.001). Similarly, healthcare workers in a younger age group reported higher medical errors compared with those in the older age group (β=−1.334, P < 0.001). Physicians reported higher medical error than nurses (β=3.126, P < 0.001). Among occupational outcomes, self-reported medical errors increased with higher burnout rates (β=1.686, P =0.003) and frequent exposure to bullying (β=1.609, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Improving patient safety has become paramount in the modern age of quality improvement. In this study, medical errors reported by healthcare workers were strongly related to their degree of burnout and exposure to work-related bullying practice. This study makes a unique and tangible contribution to the current knowledge of medical errors among healthcare workers in Oman.