Study: Patients define medical errors broadly

Watch out: While you may define a medical error as an event which harms or risks harming a patient, patients themselves have a much more flexible idea of what an error is. According to a new study schedule for publication in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (JCJQPS) next month, when patients talk about errors, they're also considering communication problems, caregiver responsiveness and falls, rather limiting themselves to problems with care delivery. The researchers, who surveyed more than 1,600 patients at 12 Midwestern hospitals, found that 39 percent of patients felt concerned about at least one type of medical error during their hospitalization, something which was strongly linked to their satisfaction with their overall hospital experience. The authors are recommending that hospitals measure patient perceptions of provider "error" as part of their satisfaction management efforts.

Find out more about the study:
- read this JCJQPS release