Medical Error Disclosure can Rescue Malpractice Litigation

Heba A. Yassa, Abanoub F. Peter

Abstract


Patient safety is the main goal of each hospital. Many steps can be taken to improve patient’s safety by the healthcare system. This study aimed to increase awareness about medical error disclosure, which helps to decrease malpractice litigation. Two hundred physicians with different qualifications were asked to complete a questionnaire about medical error disclosure and its impact on the patient’s safety and malpractice litigation. The studied group included doctors in different age groups, ranging from 25 to 60 years old. Thirty-one percent of them reported that the main cause of medical errors is poor team design, followed by 27% blaming work pressure. Other causes of medical errors are due to human errors, and 49% were due to miscommunication with patients. Only 35.5% of doctors had the courage to disclose their errors. Most of them fear the negative reaction of patients’ families and loss of reputation. Twenty-seven percent of physicians confirmed that it is the right of the patient to know about the error that took place but they did not know how to inform their patients about the error. Medical error disclosure is one of the most important steps towards achieving patient’s trust in any healthcare institution.


Keywords


Forensic sciences, Medical errors, Malpractice, Litigation, Reputation, Disclosure, Rescue

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26735/16586794.2018.007

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