Poll Finds 23% of Massachusetts’ Residents Affected by Medical Errors

A study published today has found that nearly 1/4 of Massachusetts residents have been affected by a medical error. The Boston Globe reports, “The poll of 1,224 residents by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that many people did not report the medical mistakes, often because they did not believe it would do any good, or they did not know how to report it.”
The most common errors reported in the study include: 1)medical problem misdiagnosed (51%), 2)given wrong test, surgery, or treatment (38%), 3)given wrong or unclear instructions about follow-up care (34%), 4)given incorrect medication (32%), 5)got an infection after test, surgery or treatment (32%). The information provided by the Harvard School of Public Health is appalling in the number of those affected by medical errors and the lack of reporting due to a lack of trust in any good outcome resulting from the disclosure. This situation is at a critical juncture and must be changed.