Medical errors: healthcare professionals’ perspective at a tertiary hospital in Kuwait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Hertfordshire
  • School of Pharmacy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, United Kingdom.


Medical errors are of economic importance and can contribute to serious adverse events for patients. Medical errors refer to preventable events resulting from healthcare interactions, whether these events harm the patient or not. In Kuwait, there is a paucity literature detailing the causes, forms, and risks of medical errors in their state-funded healthcare facilities. This study aimed to explore medical errors, their causes and preventive strategies in a Kuwait tertiary hospital based on the perceptions and experience of a cross-section of healthcare professionals using a questionnaire with 27 open (n = 10) and closed (n = 17) questions. The recruited healthcare professionals in this study included pharmacists, nurses, physicians, dentists, radiographers, hospital administrators, surgeons, nutritionists, and physiotherapists. The collected data were analysed quantitatively using descriptive statistics. A total of 203 participants filled and completed the survey questionnaire. The frequency of medical errors in Kuwait was found to be high at 60.3% ranging from incidences of prolonged hospital stays (32.9%), adverse events and life-threatening complications (32.3%), and fatalities (20.9%). The common medical errors result from incomplete instructions, incorrect dosage, and incorrect route of administration, diagnosis errors, and labelling errors. The perceived causes of these medical errors include high workload, lack of support systems, stress, medical negligence, inadequate training, miscommunication, poor collaboration, and non-adherence to safety guidelines among the healthcare professionals.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0217023
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2019