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To report or not to report: Applying game theory to nursing error reporting

Author

Listed:
  • Alex Barrachina

    () (LEE and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

  • Víctor González-Chordá

    () (Nursing Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

Abstract

The interaction between nurses and their managers is a very important factor in nurses’ error reporting behaviour, which is crucial to improve patient safety in health care organisations. However, little theoretical work has been undertaken to analyse this interaction. This paper attempts to take a modest step forward in closing this gap in the health economics literature by considering a principal-agent model in which the principal (the nurse manager) asks the agent (the nurse) to perform a task with a certain patient. If the nurse makes a mistake while treating the patient, she has to decide whether to report it to the manager, taking into account that the manager can observe whether the patient suffered an accident. Considering four leadership styles for the manager and four styles of error reporting for the nurse, the paper concludes that a leadership style very close to the transformational one is, in general, the best one for receiving error notifications from nurses, which is coherent with the evidence provided by the nursing management literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Barrachina & Víctor González-Chordá, 2016. "To report or not to report: Applying game theory to nursing error reporting," Working Papers 2016/14, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  • Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2016/14
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nurse error reporting; Patient safety; Asymmetric information; Nurse-manager interaction– Nurse leadership style;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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