Friday, January 28, 2005

Docs witness MedMal but say nothing

So much for the Malpractice crisis . . . it appears what we have here is a Medical Ethics crisis: 

"Eighty percent of U.S. doctors and half of nurses surveyed said they had seen colleagues make mistakes, but only 10 percent ever spoke up, according to a study released on Wednesday.

These mistakes are undoubtedly contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of people who die from medical errors in the United States each year, the researchers and experts on nursing said.

Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers need to be less shy about speaking up about mistakes, incompetent colleagues and other problems that can hurt patients, the report said.

Healthcare workers who do speak up are not only able to nip the problem in the bud, but are also happier in their own work, said Joseph Grenny, president of consulting group VitalSmarts, which conducted the survey of 1,700 nurses, doctors, hospital administrators and other experts for the study."

Astounding -- another phony issue drummed up as payback for the White House's contributors.

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Source:
Survey Finds 80 Pct of U.S. Doctors Witness Mistakes
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
Reuters, Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 PM GMT   
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=7442256

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Reuters stories have an annoying tendency of disappearing from the web . . . if that happens

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Survey Finds 80 Pct of U.S. Doctors Witness Mistakes
Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 PM ET

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By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eighty percent of U.S. doctors and half of nurses surveyed said they had seen colleagues make mistakes, but only 10 percent ever spoke up, according to a study released on Wednesday.

These mistakes are undoubtedly contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of people who die from medical errors in the United States each year, the researchers and experts on nursing said.

Nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers need to be less shy about speaking up about mistakes, incompetent colleagues and other problems that can hurt patients, the report said.

Healthcare workers who do speak up are not only able to nip the problem in the bud, but are also happier in their own work, said Joseph Grenny, president of consulting group VitalSmarts, which conducted the survey.

Grenny's team surveyed 1,700 nurses, doctors, hospital administrators and other experts for the study.

"Fifty percent of nurses said they have colleagues who appear incompetent," Grenny told a meeting of clinical care nurses.

"Eighty-four percent of physicians and 62 percent of nurses and other clinical care providers have seen co-workers taking shortcuts that could be dangerous to patients," he added.

The survey found that 88 percent of doctors and 48 percent of nurses and other workers felt they worked with colleagues who showed poor clinical judgment.

A 1999 study by the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine found that up to 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors in hospitals. Last July, Lakewood, Colorado-based HealthGrades Inc. said the true number was closer to 195,000 people a year.

The errors include giving patients the wrong drug or the wrong dose, surgical errors and spreading germs through unhygienic practices.

"People frequently see these problems but too often they fail to talk about them," Grenny said.

Why not? Because people fear confrontation, lack time or feel it is not their job, Grenny said. Even doctors were afraid to question nurses they saw making errors, he said.

His survey found the 10 percent of workers who did speak up felt good about it.

"When they effectively confront a situation, it makes a difference," he said. "These people are also more satisfied with their workplace."

Connie Barden, who helped author standards for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, said nurses cannot be afraid to point out mistakes. "Nurses must be as proficient at handling personal communication as they are in clinical skills," she told the meeting.



Source:
Survey Finds 80 Pct of U.S. Doctors Witness Mistakes
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
Reuters, Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 PM GMT   
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=7442256

Posted at 07:05 AM in Politics | Permalink

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