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Policies vs Practice of Medical Error Disclosure at a Teaching Hospital in Saudi Arabia

Authors Al Madani R, Al-Rayes SA, Alumran A

Received 10 March 2020

Accepted for publication 27 May 2020

Published 17 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 825—831


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto

Reem Al Madani,1 Saja A Al-Rayes,2 Arwa Alumran2

1Risk Management Unit, Directorate of Quality and Safety, King Fahad Hospital of the University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; 2Health Information Management and Technology Department, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Reem Al Madani
Risk Management Unit, Directorate of Quality and Safety, King Fahad Hospital of the University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, PO Box 38954, Dahahran 31932, Saudi Arabia
Tel +96638966666

Background: Medical errors are unavoidable in health care institutions. Errors can occur due to multiple reasons, yet communication between health care providers has proven to be the highest. However, policies and programs of medical error disclosure were established to ensure that patients and their family members get the necessary closure. Hence, it is vital to recognize physicians’ awareness of policies and programs related to disclosure practice.
Objective: The objective of this study was to examine factors impacting the awareness of hospital policies and programs and their impact on the actual disclosure of medical errors.
Methods: This was a quantitative cross-sectional study, using a self-administered survey given to 206 physicians from numerous departments at King Fahd Hospital of the University.
Results: The majority of participants were not aware of policies and programs related to disclosure, nor had they disclosed a medical error to patients. There was no statistical significance between policies and programs and the practice of disclosure, yet position level and gender were statistically significantly related to awareness.
Conclusion: Physicians of King Fahd Hospital of the University demonstrated a low awareness rate of the hospital policies and programs regarding disclosure practice. Advanced efforts of hospital leaders need to be made to communicate, train and educate providers about their policies to promote disclosure practice.

Keywords: medical errors, disclosure, policies, procedure

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