Transparency when things go wrong: physician attitudes about reporting medical errors to patients, peers, and institutions.
Prompt error disclosure to patients and families is the standard of care, despite varying implementation. Reporting errors to the institution and discussing incidents with peers are also recommended safety practices. In this survey study, physicians reported similar attitudes about disclosing to patients, the organization, and peers, suggesting that those who favor transparency do so across the board. Female physicians were more likely to favor transparency compared to male physicians, and academic physicians were more likely to favor transparency than those in private practice. Younger physicians were also more likely to support disclosure, suggesting that attitudes towards error reporting may improve over time. A past AHRQ WebM&M interview discussed developments in error disclosure and apologies.