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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Parent-reported errors and adverse events in hospitalized children.

Khan A, Furtak SL, Melvin P, et al. JAMA pediatrics. 2016;170:e154608.

Whether patient and family understanding of safety issues aligns with standard definitions of medical errors is unclear. In this study, parents of pediatric inpatients were asked if their children experienced any safety incidents during hospitalization. Physician reviewers evaluated parents' reports and designated incidents as errors or quality issues or excluded them. Just under 10% of respondents reported an incident, and 62% of these were confirmed by the study team as medical errors, with the remainder considered either quality issues or exclusions. Consistent with prior studies, many of the confirmed errors were not captured in the medical record. This work demonstrates that allowing patients and families to report safety concerns can identify previously unknown errors. A recent PSNet perspective calls for enhanced patient engagement in safety.