Not quite surprising

Ricardo Sanchez RSanchezEmergencyMedicine at MSN.COM
Thu Dec 15 20:57:43 UTC 2016


Study: Primary care doctors are skittish when it comes to discussing medical errors
Dec 12, 2016US Professional News
CURATED BYRSi Communications

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According to a new survey conducted by researchers at Georgia State University, whereas most primary care physicians would inform their patients about a medical error in some capacity, only a minority would provide a full disclosure that included specific details.

The Georgia State University researchers asked 300 primary care physicians about how they would disclose a medical error involving two hypothetical cancer diagnoses. Most of the respondent physicians said they would offer limited or no explanation and limited or no apology, which falls short of both national guidelines and patient expectations.

"The intent to disclose was not as frequent as we thought it might be," said Douglas Roblin, a professor Georgia State University who participated in the survey, in a press release. "The two vignettes gave pretty consistent findings. The majority would not fully disclose, and we were hoping for full disclosure because that is the ethical expectation."


AND:

Learning from exemplars: Health care providers cope with medical errors
Sep 28, 2015US Professional News
CURATED BYRSi Communications

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Doctors who recover well after committing a medical error display certain traits that allow them to cope successfully. Physicians who display these traits and are the best-adjusted responders to serious medical errors are deemed wisdom "exemplars."

Exemplars talk about their medical error and disclose the error to the patient or his or her family, and they seek to apologize.  These wise physicians also forgive themselves, learn to deal with their own imperfections, often become experts in the area in which the mistake occurred, and work on building teamwork and teaching others to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future.

These traits of exemplars were derived from semi-structured interviews with 61 physicians who committed medical errors, the results of which were published online in September by the journal Academic Medicine.

As one doctor surveyed for the study said, "One of the processes of growing older, more experienced, more mature, is [that] reality replaces icons. People think of me as perfect. I happen to know it is not true. I don't need or want anyone to have that concept of me anymore."

Being able to communicate on an emotionally honest level was a common thread in many of the exemplars' coping strategies. On the other hand, bottling up feelings was damaging to clinicians recovering from an error.

"I couldn't really tell anybody," said one of the surveyed physicians. "[T]hat really got to me. Everybody tries to protect their friends and their trainees and their coworkers whenever they have a complication like that. But, I think the downside is it doesn't allow people to get the support that they need."




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Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


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