Recently, investigators questioned physicians, nurses, and other specialists at some of the nation’s leading institutions about reporting patient care errors and near-misses. Each institution surveyed attempts to protect patients by tracking errors and near-misses through online, self-reporting systems.
The study’s results revealed that significantly more doctors and nurses failed to routinely submit error reports, when compared to their colleagues, even though virtually all respondents agreed that they are responsible for reporting patient care errors. What’s more, over 90% of survey respondents had observed errors or near-misses in their practices. The most common responses received from physicians and resident regarding why they failed to regularly report errors were shocking: (1) getting colleagues into trouble; (2) fear of lawsuits; and (3) and embarrassment.
The physician who presented these unfortunate survey results at a recent medical society meeting, Kendra Harris, M.D., has rightly stated, “Reporting is not an end in itself. It helps identify potential hazards, and each member of the health care team brings a perspective that can help make patients safer.” However, these numbers show that unless providers’ attitudes and behaviors change, patient safety may never be our healthcare system’s number one priority, or an achievable goal.
If you believe that you or a loved one may be a medical malpractice victim, contact Kentucky medical malpractice attorney, Seth Gladstein, right now for a free consultation. Seth can be reached at (502) 855-4177, or toll-free at 800-991-0474. You can also email Seth at [email protected]. By calling, you can help make medical care safer for you, your loved ones, and other Kentucky residents.