Profession

Most adverse events undisclosed

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 30, 2009

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Sixty percent of patients who experience adverse events in the hospital do not receive explanations about why or how the mistakes occurred, according to a study in the Nov. 9 Archives of Internal Medicine (link).

The study of 603 patients who experienced 845 adverse events, as verified by a team of clinical reviewers, found that adverse events that required additional treatment or hurt patients in good health were more likely to be disclosed.

"Hospital staff are selective about which events they disclose," the study's authors said.

The study randomly sampled adult patients at Massachusetts hospitals between April 1 and Oct. 1, 2003. The movement among doctors and hospitals to disclose mistakes has picked up since then.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/11/30/prbf1130.htm.

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