Background: Errors in health care services constitute e an unpleasant reality for health care professionals, health care systems and, ultimately, for citizens-users of health care services. However, the lack of statistical data derived from the Greek health care system does not allow forming an objective view about errors in Greek hospitals.Τhe aim of this study was the recording of possible errors committed by the medical and nursing staff on the stage of introducing the patient into the operating room until the time of intubation and the correlation of errors with causative factors.
Material and Methods: Data collection was realized in the Operating Rooms of two hospitals of Athens, from April 2009 to February 2010 and there were observed 200 patients who underwent surgery. In order to record data, an appropriate questionnaire was used, and its validity was checked by a team of experts and a pilot study. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 17.0
Results: The absolute number of errors committed in 200 patients who underwent surgery was 40, while the number of errors per patient was 0.2. Furthermore, 62.5% of errors were of minor severity, 30% of moderate severity and 7.5% life-threatening. Regarding the correlation of errors with the educational level of nurses, it was observed that nurses with university or technological education were making more comprehensive preoperative checking’s compared with the two-year education assistant nurses (p = 0,031).
Conclusions: The attempt to alter the attitudes and behaviours of health care professionals is imperative, in order to realize that errors in clinical care are inevitable and they can be reduced only after intensive research, early detection and implementation of evidence based practices.
Key-words: patient safety, medical error, nursing errors, causative factors of errors, surgical errors