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Factors associated with vulnerability of patients to medical errors

Arif Raza.

Abstract
Background: Patient safety has been an important concern among quality conscious health-care providers. Patients undergoing hospitalization are vulnerable to harms from various errors during patient care process. The vulnerability may differ from patient to patient depending on certain patient-specific factors.

Objective: The objective of the study is to examine the association of certain patient-specific factors with occurrence of medical errors.

Materials and Methods: The study used a case–control study design under which patients who faced one or more medical error were taken as cases and those who did not faced any medical errors used as controls. The data constitute of 109 cases and 236 controls over the period of the past 1 year. Five different patient’s factors; age, gender, literacy, income, and language inability were analyzed for their association with the occurrence of medical error. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 16 was used to calculate odds ratio (OR) with confidence interval (C.I.) of 95% and P = 0.05.

Results: It was found that old age patients, illiterate patients, and patients with language inability had a significant higher odd of suffering a medical error. The OR of old age patient is 1.22–1.83 (95% C.I., P = 0.001) in comparison to patients who are

Key words: Vulnerable Patients; Patient Safety; Health-care Hazards; Medical Errors



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