Document Type : Research articles


1 Student Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Critical Care Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Centre, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Anesthesiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Health Services Management, School of Health Management and Information Science, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: The goal of healthcare professionals is to provide safe care, prevent injury, and promote the health of patients. Different factors and conditions, in particular, medication errors, may threaten patient safety.
Objectives: This study was conducted to explore and to describe the role of interactions among healthcare professionals regarding medication errors in intensive care units.
Methods: The study was conducted using a descriptive qualitative method in 2016. The participants were purposively chosen. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews and used qualitative content analysis for the analysis. The setting of the study included 16 internal, surgical, poisoning, and cardiac intensive care units of 7 educational hospitals affiliated to Isfahan University of Medical Sciences located in central Iran with a total of 190 beds. Participants included 19 members of the healthcare team (physician, nurse and clinical pharmacist) with at least 1 year of work experience in intensive care units.
Results: Themain category and 3 sub- categories were extracted from interviews. The 3 sub- categories were: “weak interprofessional interaction (physician and nurse)”, “weak intraprofessional interaction (among physicians)”, and “weak interaction of physician as well as nurse with the patient and family”.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that medication errors may occur due to lack of interprofessional collaboration and weak communication of the healthcare team with the patient and his family. The collaboration between healthcare providers and communication with patients directly had an impact on patient outcomes. To improve the quality and safety of care delivery, healthcare center managers need to promote interprofessional collaboration, the participation of patient and family in care plan, interprofessional development, and implementation of programs to prevent as well as reduce medication errors in intensive care units.