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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Patients use an internet technology to report when things go wrong.

Wasson JH, MacKenzie TA, Hall M. Quality & safety in health care. 2007;16:213-5.

This study examined patients' perceptions of medical errors by analyzing voluntary responses to an internet-based health assessment survey. Approximately 1.5% of more than 40,000 respondents reported having experienced a medical error within the past year. Patients who had a higher burden of illness were more likely to report an error, consistent with a prior study in hospitalized patients. Review by a malpractice attorney revealed that 9% of the reported errors could have been eligible for legal compensation. As the study sample consisted of voluntary respondents (not a randomly selected population), the results may not be generalizable.