Going public with medical errors

Originally posted 8-26-2011:
I came across an article highlighting three doctors that went public with their medical errors. It gives a view into the minds of doctors and what they go through when they realize they have made an error. The focus is on protecting the "second victims" and how the healing process starts with admitting the errors.

It's great to see that these doctors understood the importance of sharing their stories. Every error made has a lesson behind it that the medical community can learn from. The question should not be around punishing the clinician, but should be focused on how to prevent that same error from happening again. Hiding an error or pretending it didn't happen only allows for a repeat mistake.

I really liked Dr. Bledsoe's quote, "Physicians are human. For anyone to expect absolute perfection in everything is a fool's errand."  This is the essence of Patient Safety science. As you read the article and the shared stories, ask yourself how the errors could have been prevented. How could the system be improved to catch these errors from reaching the patient?