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Study finds discrepancy between physicians' attitudes, actions regarding medical errors

Physician Practice Advisor, May 16, 2007

A University of Iowa study has revealed a possible gap in physicians' attitudes about disclosing medical errors and their real-world practices, ScienceDaily reports. The study collected responses from 538 faculty physicians, residents, and medical students.

Although 97% of respondents indicated that they would disclose a hypothetical medical error that resulted in minor harm to a patient and 93% said they would disclose an error if it caused major harm, only 41% of faculty and resident physicians reported actually having disclosed a minor medical error, and only 5% have disclosed a major error.

At least 19% of respondents acknowledged having made a minor medical error and not disclosing it. Four percent admitted failing to disclose a major error.

Click here for more information about the study.