With many cases of medical malpractice going undetected, action is being taken to implement a new reporting system that would make incidents of medical malpractice more transparent.
No such system is currently in place, which means that patients have no easy way of reporting suspected mistakes made by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and hospitals. This is valuable information that Chicago patients need to pass along so that changes can be made to improve patient safety.
The Obama administration is seeking to implement the new reporting system in which patients and their families could report medical mishaps via telephone interviews or a website. If the White House gives final approval, health officials may soon begin initiatives to create the system.
As part of the system, patients would have access to questionnaires at hospital kiosks and at their doctors’ offices. Information about the system would also be sent in the form of a flier to patients’ homes, and pharmacies would also have to display the fliers for patients. Any information provided by patients would be kept confidential. Ultimately, the information provided would be used to make health care safer for patients.
With the reporting system, patients would be prompted to answer questions about the medical incident they are reporting, including specific details such as the type of harm they experienced and any contributing factors.
The reporting system, which clearly defines medical mistakes for patients, appears to be well received by the medical community and consumers alike. Doctors asked about the proposed medical malpractice reporting system seem to agree the notion has merit, noting that having patient information to complement reports from care providers is valuable.
Source: New York Times, “New System for Patients to Report Medical Mistakes,” Robert Pear, Sept. 22, 2012
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