Objectives: Complexity of health care is progressively increasing and with that the number of medical errors and adverse events are increasing to an alarming level. The purpose of this study is to assess the perception of healthcare safety within the healthcare community and the general public and examine the association between the perception regarding healthcare safety and the prior exposure to medical errors.
Methods: The study is a cross-sectional online survey. The online survey included basic demographics and a series of questions related to the knowledge and perception about healthcare safety and personal healthcare experience.
Results: 504 respondent completed the survey. 78.6% were healthcare workers. 84% reported one or more exposure to medical errors or adverse events. Most respondents (81.5%) estimated the rate of medical errors to be 1:100 or less. only 29.3% of the respondents thought that medical errors are occurring more frequently than 10 years ago. 89.6% of the respondents thought that healthcare is a safe industry. Looking at Factors Predicting the Perception that Healthcare is Safe, there was no clear correlation with the exposure to medical errors except for surgical complications exposure (p-value=0.01, OR 21.4)
Conclusions: There is a strong indication in our data that healthcare workers and public perception is far from the reality of the dangers of the healthcare system There is a need to educate the public regarding the medical error rate and the healthcare safety to help make patients and their families become partners in their care and to help healthcare workers better understand the limitations of healthcare processes that may affect patient safety and outcomes.
Conflict(s) of Interest
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Khthir, Rodhan A.; Elhamdani, Shahed; Hatab, Ibrahim; Espina, Felyn; Asuncion, Gerry; and Akpanudo, Sutoidem
"How safe is Healthcare? Perceptions within the Healthcare Community and the general public.,"
Marshall Journal of Medicine:
2, Article 9.
Available at: http://mds.marshall.edu/mjm/vol3/iss2/9