Follow us on:

Medical Professionals Fail to Report Near-Misses, According to Study

A new study has determined that medical professionals often fail to report medical errors and near-misses.

November 18, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University indicates that 90 percent of physicians have witnessed or experienced a medical error or a "near-miss" of an error, but failed to report the error or near-miss to avoid embarrassment or cause hassle for administrators.

This disturbing discovery was the outcome of e-mail surveys sent to physicians, nurses, radiation specialists and physicists at three of the nation's university health systems. Researchers determined that radiation specialists and physicists tended to report errors more often, but physicians and nurses were less inclined to do so, even though nearly all of the medical professionals surveyed believed that it was their responsibility to report errors and near-misses.

One major recommendation from the study's researchers is that hospitals change the perception of their error-reporting procedures from punishments to constructive "quality improvement tools." If medical professionals view their reporting as a way to improve patient health rather than a punitive consequence, medical error reporting may increase.

Reporting medical errors is important because it is one of the most effective ways for hospitals to track and improve patient safety. If medical errors go unreported, hospitals are unable to identify problem areas and find solutions.

When medical professionals fail to report medical errors, everyone loses. Not only are patients put in danger, doctors and nurses are unmotivated to change their behaviors and hospital administrations are unable to take steps to prevent errors. In addition, failing to report medical errors also leaves future patients vulnerable to the same mistakes.

Legally, failing to report errors leaves doctors, nurses and hospital administrations vulnerable to medical malpractice litigation from patients. Embarrassment, shame and anxiety are not acceptable reasons to not report a medical error or a near-miss. Failing to speak up helps no one and potentially hurts many. Instead, medical professionals should perceive error reporting as a learning opportunity and a way to keep hospitals a safe place for patients.

If you or a loved one have fallen victim to a medical error, please contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can advise you of your options.

Article provided by Thomas Q. Keefe, Jr., P.C.


Newsletter

Did you miss an issue of our online newsletter? You can access past newsletter issues or you can receive future newsletters via email by joining our mailing list.

Health Care Blog

CMS updates hospital results for consumers
CMS reports these outcomes for patients who are admitted to the hospital for a heart attack, heart f…
Continue Reading »

Triaging the Transitions — It’s time to fix the broken process for transitions of care, says Fred N. Pelzman, MD.
MedpageToday  |  07.16.2015  Fred N. Pelzman, MD. It seems that our transitions of care leave s…
Continue Reading »

Making the Cut: Why choosing the right surgeon matters even more than you know
by Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce, ProPublica July 13, 2015 In February 2012, LaVerne Stiles went to…
Continue Reading »


Becoming a More Empowered Patient

First, we have chosen to share a video by Consumer Health Choices: Talking With Your Doctor. In it you will see how preparing for you appointment can make a difference.

We have chosen a second video by the National Patient Safety Foundation: AskMe3, to share with you. Here, you learn that there are three important questions to ask your doctor whenever you see him or her.

Finally, we are sharing a series of videos by Dartmouth-Hitchcock:
Self-Advocacy: The Empowered Patient,
Self-Advocacy: Preparing for your Visit,
Self-Advocacy: Why It's Important To Share and
Self-Advocacy: Doing Research.

For the complete story, please click here

5 Things to Know

  1. What you need to know in the Hospital
  2. 15 Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Risk of a Hospital Infection
  3. Selecting Doctors & Hospitals
  4. What to do to avoid medication error
  5. AHRQ Director Helps Consumers Navigate the Health Care System in a New Advice Column on the Web

You've Suffered Medical Harm - Now What Do You Do?

According to a recent article published by ProPublica titled: So You’ve Become a Patient Safety Statistic – Now What? by Marshall Allen there are six things to do….

  1. Get a copy of medical records.
  2. Make sure the incident is reported internally.
  3. If the patient has died, order a forensic autopsy.
  4. Consider calling an attorney.
  5. Meet with the doctor and hospital officials.
  6. Report the incident to regulators, who can investigate.

For greater detail and more important information, please read the full article.