Voluntary electronic reporting of medical errors and adverse events.
This descriptive study analyzed nearly 100,000 reports from 26 acute care hospitals with investigators discovering wide variations in reporting rates across sites. The most common classification included medication-related events, and more than half of all events affected a patient before being caught. The authors report that nurses were the most frequent users of the electronic reporting systems, whereas physicians accounted for an overwhelming minority. A past study found similar underuse of reporting systems by physicians and recommended alternative methods for capturing physician-based information about adverse events.