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Disclosing Medical Errors in Tertiary Hospitals in Saudi Arabia : Cross-Sectional Questionnaire Study

  • Al-Kaabba, Abdulaziz F
  • Hussein, Ghaiath MA
  • Al-Qumaizi, Khalid Ibrahim
  • Al-Rashed, Waleed
  • Kasule, Omar H
  • Alosaimi, Fahad
  • Qadi, Mahdi Ali
  • Alhaqwi, Ali Ibrahim
Background: Saudi Arabia's healthcare system has been steadily growing over the last few decades. Though the Saudi MOH publicizes an annual report of medical errors (MEs) in the kingdom; there is scarce empirical data on the physicians' attitudes to disclose them. Objectives This study aimed to describe the physician's attitudes and practices of disclosing MEs in the main tertiary hospitals in Saudi Arabia Methods This is a cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire survey study. The physicians working in the tertiary hospitals with the biggest bed-capacity were invited to complete an anonymous questionnaire, addressing demographic characteristics, as well as the respondents' involvement in medical errors, and attitudes towards disclosing them. Results One hundred and seventeen physicians completed the questionnaire. About one quarter of respondents were personally involved in an incident of ME or malpractice (28; 23.9%), while two thirds (70; 59.8%) have witnessed at least one incident. Seven respondents (6%) were willing to disclose incidents of their own MEs or malpractice. The main factor that would make them disclose the ME was the seriousness of the error (60; 42.7%), followed by if the patient or one of his/her relatives discovered it (26; 22.2%). Discussion The findings of this study, especially the lack of willingness to disclose the MEs were discussed in reference to relevant literature. The main reasons could be related to the legalistic and mostly punitive approach to MEs. Conclusion We suggested a 3-steps approach to improve disclosure of ME: 1) change the institutional culture, 2) education and training, and 3) clear guidelines within a disclosure-friendly environment.
Select Volume / Issue:
Year:
2016
Type of Publication:
Article
Keywords:
Medical; Errors; Tertiary; Hospitals; Questionnaire Study
Journal:
IJASM
Volume:
3
Number:
2
Pages:
75-83
Month:
March
ISSN:
2394-2894
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