Medical Mistakes

February 25, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 7
Should reports of medical errors be made public?
By Sarah Glazer

Introduction

Many doctors and hospitals say that more medical mistakes will be reported if their identities are not revealed after errors occur. (Photo Credit: Corbis Images)
Many doctors and hospitals say that more medical mistakes will be reported if their identities are not revealed after errors occur. (Photo Credit: Corbis Images)

Many more patients are hurt by medical mistakes than hospitals ever acknowledge. In fact, a recent report by the Institute of Medicine confirms what medical experts have long known: Medical errors kill more people every year than AIDS, breast cancer or car crashes. The IOM says that encouraging doctors to admit their mistakes could help hospitals prevent future errors. On Feb. 22, President Clinton urged the states to require the reporting of medical errors. But medical lobbyists and consumers are at odds over how public the reports should be. Consumer advocates and large employers, including General Motors, say hospitals should be required to report their mistakes publicly. But hospitals and doctors want their identities protected to avoid malpractice suits and to encourage candor.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Medical Malpractice
Feb. 14, 2003  Medical Malpractice
Feb. 25, 2000  Medical Mistakes
Dec. 19, 1975  Malpractice Insurance Crunch
Nov. 08, 1952  Suppression of Medical Abuses
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Consumer Protection and Product Liability
Medical Profession and Personnel