If your child is in or has ever been in a hospital in Washington State and you have noticed a potential problem or error made by a doctor, nurse or other staff member, you might think that if you report it, your report will automatically be documented in the hospital’s records. While this theoretically makes sense, the results of a study published earlier this year indicate that this is not necessarily the case all of the time.
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, a study including multiple facilities providing care for patients under the age of 18 was conducted over a period of several months between 2014 and 2015. In looking at all of the reports made by family members of either mistakes or adverse events resulting from some error, a disturbing reality was seen. Less than half of all errors reported by a family member were documented by the facilities. Even worse is that less than one-fourth of all adverse events reported by a family member were in the facilities’ documentation records.
The study tracked 225 errors per familial reports, of which more than 130 were identified to be related to patient safety in some manner. Quality was associated with more than 100 of the incidents reported.
If you would like to learn more about the types of errors and adverse events that should be reported and documented by hospitals and how you can seek help after such an incident, please feel free to visit the health care mistake reporting page of our Washington State medical malpractice website.