Doctors Don’t Disclose Errors, Even When They Think They Should: U.S. Study

by John McKiggan

Doctors don’t report their medical errors, even when they think they should, according to a study from the University of Iowa.

Washington D.C. lawyer Patrick Malone posted about the study on his Patient Safety Blog.

The author of the study said that:

…he was encouraged that most of the doctors believed reporting errors was an important way to improve health care quality. But he said he was troubled by the fact that fewer than half of them would have reported the hypothetical error if it didn’t cause problems.

I am not aware of any Canadian studies that have specifically addressed this question. There is no reason to think that doctors in Canada feel different than their American counter-parts. However, the study does confirm the point that I made in a previous post. Until there are legal requirements to report medical errors and sanctions for those that do not, there will always be those that put self interest above patient safety.

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