The AP reports, "More than a dozen serious medical errors were reported at Middle Tennessee hospitals over the past three years - and federal statistics indicate probably 80 more were not reported." Previously, "hospitals have been reluctant to admit mistakes, fearing malpractice lawsuits." However, "hospitals are increasingly under pressure to reduce errors, and to do that, they have to recognize them."
Data indicate lingering resistance to open discussion of medical mistakes. American Medical News reports, "For more than a decade, patient safety leaders have urged medicine to shift from an approach that shames and blames individual doctors and nurses for medical errors to a 'culture of safety' where open discussion and reporting about adverse events, mistakes, disruptive behavior and unsafe conditions are prized rather than punished." An increasing "body of evidence is showing that higher safety culture scores are correlated with better clinical outcomes and lower rates of hospital-acquired conditions." However, "data released in February by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality show that most physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals working in hospitals believe their organizations are still more interested in punishing missteps and enforcing hierarchy than in encouraging open communication and using adverse-event reports to learn what's gone wrong."
From the American Association of Justice press release.