Survey: Patients think healthcare is better if they are told about errors

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

November 11, 2009

A study published in the November 9 Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that hospital staff members fail to let patients know of an error in their care more than 50% of the time, but patients rate their care as being better if they are informed about errors, reports The Boston Globe. The telephone survey, led by a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, polled more than 2,500 patients who had been a patient at one of 16 Massachusetts hospitals during 2003. They were questioned about any errors that occurred during their time at the facilities, and whether there were any lasting effects.

The researchers came to the conclusion that patients may equate the disclosure of errors with higher quality healthcare. Although four out of ten errors were found to have been disclosed to patients, those patients who said they were told of errors were twice as likely to rate their care as being high quality.

Click here to read more from The Boston Globe.