Medical Harm Complaint System Could be Quality Data Goldmine
How were you harmed?
Among the proposed queries: Who made the mistake? Where, why, and how? Did it involve a medication, test, or procedure? Was there a delay in care or diagnosis, a problem with anesthesia, or "bad" medical advice?
Patients would be asked how they found out about the error or unsafe condition and the extent to which the harm or error affected them. For example, did it cause them to miss work or pay for more tests and procedures, or make more trips to a healthcare facility?
The proposed questionnaire also asks if providers made any special effort to help patients handle the negative effect, and whether that effort indeed helped.
Providers linked to the incidents would be notified "so they can do a better job."
According to an analysis of the prototype's costs, a healthcare organization that received 924 responses or complaints might spend $11,537 logging in the information and conducting follow-ups. The AHRQ project goes way beyond the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPS) surveys, which ask how patients think they were treated in the hospital, not whether they witnessed errors or harm in the process of their care.
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