Medical Errors Not Reported Even When Required by Law

A new study reveals a disturbing trend in healthcare. Some medical errors are not reported even when required by law. According to US Politics Today, “A report by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Daniel R. Levinson, found that only one in seven Medicare patient harms or accidents are actually reported by hospital staff, even though they are required by law to do so. Even serious errors like hospital-acquired infections and fatalities are going unreported, and are just as likely to be unreported as other errors, including bedsores, delirium from too much pain medication, and allergic reactions to medications.”
One reason for this phenomenon concerns the healthcare culture. Another study about which we blogged a few days ago, noted that some doctors don’t tell patients the truth about medical errors. Unfortunately, there’s an underlying belief that patients don’t deserve to know the full extent of the truth. This is a dangerous notion and prevents healthcare safety advocates from preventing future errors based upon has been reported.