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Views and experiences of decision‐makers on organisational safety culture and medication errors.

Stewart, Derek; MacLure, Katie; Pallivalapila, Abdulrouf; Dijkstra, Andrea; Wilbur, Kerry; Wilby, Kyle; Awaisu, Ahmed; McLay, James S.; Thomas, Binny; Ryan, Cristin; El Kassem, Wessam; Singh, Rajvir; Al Hail, Moza S.H.


Derek Stewart

Katie MacLure

Abdulrouf Pallivalapila

Andrea Dijkstra

Kerry Wilbur

Kyle Wilby

Ahmed Awaisu

James S. McLay

Binny Thomas

Cristin Ryan

Wessam El Kassem

Rajvir Singh

Moza S.H. Al Hail


Background: In 2017, the World Health Organization published 'Medication Without Harm, WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge,' to reduce patient harm caused by unsafe medication use practices. While the five objectives emphasise the need to create a framework for action, engaging key stakeholders and others, most published research has focused on the perspectives of health professionals. The aim was to explore the views and experiences of decision-makers in Qatar on organisational safety culture, medication errors and error reporting. Method: Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with healthcare decision-makers (policy-makers, professional leaders and managers, lead educators and trainers) in Qatar. Participants were recruited via purposive and snowball sampling, continued to the point of data saturation. The interview schedule focused on: error causation and error prevention; engendering a safety culture; and initiatives to encourage error reporting. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and independently analysed by two researchers using the Framework Approach. Results: From the 21 interviews conducted, key themes were the need to: promote trust within the organisation through articulating a fair blame culture; eliminate management, professional and cultural hierarchies; focus on team building, open communication and feedback; promote professional development; and scale-up successful initiatives. There was recognition that the current medication error reporting processes and systems were suboptimal, with suggested enhancements in themes of promoting a fair blame culture and open communication. Conclusion: These positive and negative aspects of organisational culture can inform the development of theory-based interventions to promote patient safety. Central to these will be the further development and sustainment of a 'fair' blame culture in Qatar and beyond.


STEWART, D., MACLURE, K., PALLIVALAPILA, A., DIJKSTRA, A., WILBUR, K., WILBY, K., AWAISU, A., MCLAY, J.S., THOMAS, B., RYAN, C., EL KASSEM, W., SINGH, R. and AL HAIL, M.S.H. 2020. Views and experiences of decision-makers on organisational safety culture and medication errors. International journal of clinical practice [online], 74(9), article ID e13560. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 26, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 1, 2020
Publication Date Sep 30, 2020
Deposit Date Jun 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 26, 2020
Journal International journal of clinical practice
Print ISSN 1368-5031
Electronic ISSN 1742-1241
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 74
Issue 9
Article Number e13560
Keywords Drug safety; Genetic transcription; Leadership; Medication error; Patient safety; Professional development; Qatar
Public URL


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