Objective: to identify the relationship between the workload of the nursing team and the occurrence of patient safety incidents linked to nursing care in a public hospital in Chile. Method: quantitative, analytical, cross-sectional research through review of medical records. The estimation of workload in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) was performed using the Therapeutic Interventions Scoring System (TISS-28) and for the other services, we used the nurse/patient and nursing assistant/patient ratios. Descriptive univariate and multivariate analysis were performed. For the multivariate analysis we used principal component analysis and Pearson correlation. Results: 879 post-discharge clinical records and the workload of 85 nurses and 157 nursing assistants were analyzed. The overall incident rate was 71.1%. It was found a high positive correlation between variables workload (r = 0.9611 to r = 0.9919) and rate of falls (r = 0.8770). The medication error rates, mechanical containment incidents and self-removal of invasive devices were not correlated with the workload. Conclusions: the workload was high in all units except the intermediate care unit. Only the rate of falls was associated with the workload.
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