Recent Report Cites Potential Causes for Medical Errors

I’ve blogged before on the relationship between physician fatigue and medical errors. Now, a new report commissioned by the American College of Surgeons and conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic notes the significant correlation between physician burnout and depression and the self-reporting of medical errors. The new findings suggest that physicians suffering burnout or depression may have a higher rate of making and reporting medical errors. The report notes that mental health factors may lead to more medical errors than physician fatigue.
This new survey underscores the real need for standardized, universal medical error reporting. This is a huge patient safety issue that has been thus far ignored in the healthcare debates in Washington. However, accurate medical error reporting could save lives and increase patient safety.