From the perspective of the patient, there are many and varied reasons for not reporting a medical error. Some patients don't report errors because they are intimidated by the enormity of the health bureaucracy or the complexity of their procedure. Others simply aren't aware that their suffering is the result of medical error. Of course, the healthcare culture does little to make it easier for medical error victims to report mistakes. The system, like most corporate or institutional operations, are governed by laws of self-preservation.
If healthcare is to be improved and safety become a real priority, this has to change. Patients must be encouraged to report errors. Systems and processes should be in place in each healthcare institution to facilitate an open and honest discussion of errors and how they occur. Until this time, healthcare will remain mysterious, expensive, and dangerous.
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