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Patient perception is vital when reporting medical errors
Date:9/1/2009

hemotherapy overdose ten-times the intended amount and a slow response to pages by a pediatric surgeon for a patient who eventually codes and is rushed to emergency surgery. Apology variations were full, non-specific and none, while responsibility variation was limited to full and none. Wu, along with colleagues from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Florida, examined the relationship between the designed and perceived variations to responses and to account for differences in viewer demographic characteristics.

"There is broad consensus that physicians and health care organizations should disclose adverse events to patients and their families. Our findings show that the perception of what is said is more strongly associated with how physicians were perceived," said Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, a co-author of the study and professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. "Training is needed to help those in practice and training carry out the difficult task of disclosing adverse events. Moving forward, it will be important to evaluate the effectiveness of that training, including how it is perceived by patients and their families."


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Contact: Natalie Wood-Wright
nwoodwri@jhsph.edu
410-614-6029
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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