skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Reporting medical errors to improve patient safety: a survey of physicians in teaching hospitals.

Kaldjian LC, Jones EW, Wu BJ, Forman-Hoffman VL, Levi BH, Rosenthal GE. Reporting medical errors to improve patient safety: a survey of physicians in teaching hospitals. Archives of internal medicine. 2008 Jan 14; 168(1):40-6.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Collecting data on medical errors is essential for improving patient safety, but factors affecting error reporting by physicians are poorly understood. METHODS: Survey of faculty and resident physicians in the midwest, mid-Atlantic, and northeast regions of the United States to investigate reporting of actual errors, likelihood of reporting hypothetical errors, attitudes toward reporting errors, and demographic factors. RESULTS: Responses were received from 338 participants (response rate, 74.0%). Most respondents agreed that reporting errors improves the quality of care for future patients (84.3%) and would likely report a hypothetical error resulting in minor (73%) or major (92%) harm to a patient. However, only 17.8% of respondents had reported an actual minor error (resulting in prolonged treatment or discomfort), and only 3.8% had reported an actual major error (resulting in disability or death). Moreover, 16.9% acknowledged not reporting an actual minor error, and 3.8% acknowledged not reporting an actual major error. Only 54.8% of respondents knew how to report errors, and only 39.5% knew what kind of errors to report. Multivariate analyses of answers to hypothetical vignettes showed that willingness to report was positively associated with believing that reporting improves the quality of care, knowing how to report errors, believing in forgiveness, and being a faculty physician (vs a resident). CONCLUSION: Most faculty and resident physicians are inclined to report harm-causing hypothetical errors, but only a minority have actually reported an error.





Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.