Medical mistakes that affect hundreds of thousands of patients in the U.S. every year are typically kept quiet by hospitals, but Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is instead airing its mistakes in a monthly newsletter for its 16,000 employees. 

Many hospitals rarely provide details of medical errors in fear of sparking lawsuits and scaring off patients, but this reluctance to candidly discuss with the entire staff how medical mistakes harmed patients also hampers wide discussion of how mistakes happen and can be prevented.

Brigham leaders are using the online newsletter to encourage staff to talk openly about their mistakes and propose solutions, helping to make sure those errors are not repeated.

Most issues tell a story of medical care gone awry through interviews with caregivers and often with patients, and describe the hospital’s response. Patients are not named to protect their privacy and caregivers are posted anonymously so as not to discourage them from reporting problems.

“Other institutions are putting data out there but we are pushing the envelope with our story-telling,” said Dr. Allen Kachalia, associate chief quality officer. “Many patients have just been surprised that we’ve been asking them their side of the story.” Read the full details here:

Brigham and Women’s airing medical mistakes

Acknowledging medical mistakes and medical malpractice is the first step toward creating new policies or fixing current systems in order to improve patient care. By airing and discussing medical mistakes, hospitals could prevent them from happening again.

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice please call to investigate your matter fully. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.