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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 202-208

Patient safety in a Resource-constrained Context: A cross-sectional study of experience, drivers, barriers and preventive measures for safety incidents and accidents amongst medical doctors in South-east Nigeria


1 Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State; Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Rhema University, Aba, Nigeria
2 Department of Family Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi; Department of Family Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
3 Department of Family Medicine, Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakiliki; Department of Family Medicine, Alex Ekwueme University, Ndufu Alike, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
4 Department of Public Health, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Gabriel Uche Iloh
Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_45_20

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Background: Globally, safety of patients in healthcare environment has been an issue of the decade, especially in resource-constrained settings. The Hippocratic maxim primum non nocere requires medical practitioners to give utmost importance to the principle of beneficence and safety in attending to patients. It is a current paradigm in quality of care metrics that determines what happens to patients who interface with the healthcare system. Aim: The study was aimed at describing the experience, drivers, barriers and preventive measures for patient safety incidents and accidents in a cross-section of medical practitioners in Abia State, Southeast Nigeria. Participants and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out on 185 physicians in Southeast Nigeria. Data collection was done using a pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire that elicited information on experience, drivers, barriers and preventive measures for patient safety incidents. Results: The mean age ± standard deviation of the respondents was 36 ± 5.6 years, with a range of 25–72 years. There were 163 (88.1%) males and 22 (11.9%) females. Lifetime and previous 1-year committal of patient safety incidents were 100% (185/185) and 61.0% (113/185), respectively, with the most committed safety incident being medication errors. The most common driver of patient safety incidents was physician stress and burnout (100%) (185/185), whereas the most common barrier was communication (100%) (185/185). The most common preventive measure was patient safety incident reporting system (100%) (185/185). One-year committal of patient safety incidents was associated with duration of practice <10 years (P = 0.00001) and sex (P = 0.011). Conclusion: Patient safety incidents occurred amongst the study participants, with the most committed safety incident being medication errors. The most common driver was physician stress and burnout. The most common barrier was communication and feedback barrier, whereas the most common preventive measure was patient safety incident reporting system. Patient safety information, education and training should be the target for continuing professional development in order to safeguard the health of the patients in healthcare environment.


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