Potential New Way to Report Medical Mistakes

Negligence in health careMedical errors and negligence in health care, such as prescription mix-ups, surgery on the wrong body part, and infections, often go unreported by patients each year. But a new federal initiative proposed by the Obama administration plans to address this growing problem.

According to a recent New York Times article, consumers will be able to report medical mistakes and unsafe practices by health care professionals and hospitals through a website and in telephone interviews. The government plans to use information submitted by consumers to improve health care safety by sharing the results with health care providers.

If the pilot project goes well, health officials will begin collecting information in May 2013 and fliers describing the project will be available at hospitals, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and mailed to patients’ homes. For more information, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website.

Pear R. New system for patients to report medical mistakes. New York Times. Published online Sept. 22, 2012: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/health/new-system-for-patients-to-report-medical-mistakes.html [Image source]