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Health Agencies Update
February 27, 2008

Reporting Errors

JAMA. 2008;299(8):890. doi:10.1001/jama.299.8.890-c

Physicians are willing to report errors but they find current reporting systems inadequate, according to results of a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The study surveyed more than 1000 physicians and surgeons practicing in rural and urban areas in Missouri and Washington State between July 2003 and March 2004 (Garbutt J et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2008;27[1]:246-255). More than half of the physicians surveyed reported being involved in a serious error, nearly 75% reported being involved in a minor error, and 66% reported involvement in a near miss. The vast majority (95%) agreed that they needed to know about errors in their facility to improve patient safety, and 89% agreed they should discuss errors with colleagues.