Buy this Article for $7.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Roth, Cheryl PhD, RN
  2. Wieck, K. Lynn PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. Fountain, Rebecca PhD, RN
  4. Haas, Barbara K. PhD, RN


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to understand the human factors associated with hospital errors to provide a framework to discuss why errors occur.


BACKGROUND: Patient safety in hospitals has been a major focus in healthcare for the past 15 years. Errors still occur at an alarming rate.


METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 393 hospital-based registered nurses provided perceptions of 24 items relating to human errors in hospitals. Errors were assessed for likelihood, intervenability, importance, and common occurrence.


RESULTS: Data revealed 4 themes that explained 55% of the variance in likelihood to cause an error: loss of focus, unhealthy environment, interpersonal deficits, and overwhelmed. Feeling swamped was most important but was not seen as intervenable.


CONCLUSION: Managers must provide a way for nurses to feel empowered to intervene on error situations they believe are most likely, common, and important.