Guidelines needed for informing patients of medical errors

May 25, 2009

National guidelines are needed for timely disclosure of medical errors and informing patients, write Toronto-based researchers in a review http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg1125.pdf in CMAJ (www.cmaj.ca).

While there are guidelines outlining how health care providers communicate medical errors to patients, few exist in Canada or other countries for disclosing errors affecting large numbers of patients. Having national guidelines would help ensure more timely disclosure. The authors argue that governments and health care organizations should create clear guidelines around how large-scale adverse events should be addressed and disclosed to those affected by them.

"The disclosure of a large-scale medical error is not a single event, but rather an ongoing process," write Dr. Roger Chafe and coauthors. They call for clear communications, an external analysis to identify cause and a review that focuses on actions to ensure quality of care rather than punishment.
-end-


Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Medical Errors Articles from Brightsurf:

A new technique prevents errors in quantum computers
A paper recently published in Nature presents a protocol allowing for the error detection and the protection of quantum processors in case of qubit loss.

Medical errors increase following the spring change to daylight saving time
Seeking medical care after springing forward to daylight saving time could be a risky proposition.

Transforming DNA repair errors into assets
A new bioinformatics tool, MHcut reveals that a natural repair system for DNA damage, microhomology-mediated end joining, is probably far more common in humans than originally assumed.

Are healthcare providers 'second victims' of medical errors?
Four women with family members who died as a result of preventable medical error penned an editorial for The BMJ urging abandonment of the term 'second victims' to describe healthcare providers who commit errors.

Abandon the term 'second victim' say families of patients who died after medical errors
Families of patients who died after medical errors argue that it's time to abandon the term 'second victim' to describe doctors who are involved in a medical error.

Cell editors correct genetic errors
Almost all land plants employ an army of editors who correct errors in their genetic information.

Immunizing quantum computers against errors
Researchers at ETH Zurich have used trapped calcium ions to demonstrate a new method for making quantum computers immune to errors.

Coping with errors in the quantum age
Nowadays, quantum systems can be manipulated with extremely high, but not with perfect precision.

Medical errors in the emergency room: Understanding why
Medical errors are estimated to cause 250,000 deaths per year in the US.

Medical errors may stem more from physician burnout than unsafe health care settings
Physician burnout is at least equally responsible for medical errors as unsafe medical workplace conditions, if not more so, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Read More: Medical Errors News and Medical Errors Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.