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Can admitting a mistake lead to less doctor errors?

Houston residents who have been the victim of a doctor error know how traumatic the experience can be. Errors come in many forms, including birth injuries, surgical errors and the failure to diagnose a serious condition like cancer. Medical professionals who have made mistakes are many times held accountable and can face legal struggles.

Many times medical professionals and medical facilities have hid any mistakes they have made. But a new way of doing things is emerging that may lead to fewer errors and a higher level of safety for patients. Many hospitals are now beginning to be more transparent in the errors that occur at their facilities. They believe that having open communication between the patient who suffered from a medical error and the facility is important in helping a patient and his family learn what happened and to improve patient safety.

One example of this new transparency is a hospital in Oregon where the lights in the surgical rooms led to patient burns. The hospital officials reached out to patients who may have been affected by the surgical lights and also contacted the media in reporting the issue. Because the facility admitted to their mistake other facilities have reviewed their surgical lights to make sure the same mistake doesn't happen.

Medical providers and medical facilities have an obligation to treat patients safely and effectively. Thousands of medical mistakes occur each year that lead to a patient suffering from unexpected injuries and even death. These mistakes can be life-altering for patients and steps should be taken to help reduce the risk of medical mistakes.

Source: statesmanjournal.com, "Admitting mistakes could lead to better patient safety", Saerom Yoo, Jan. 27, 2015

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