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Media Releases

Fear, embarrassment discourage reporting errors
Johns Hopkins investigators report the most common reasons among radiation oncologists for not reporting errors are fear of getting into trouble and embarrassment.

As reported in The JHU Gazette, investigators emailed an anonymous survey to physicians, nurses, radiation physicists, and other radiation specialists at Johns Hopkins, North Shore – Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Miami, with questions about their reporting near misses and errors in delivering radiotherapy. The survey found few nurses and physicians routinely submit online reports, in contrast to physicists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists, who reported the most use of error and near-miss reporting systems.

“More than 90 percent of respondents had observed near misses or errors in their clinical practice. The vast majority of these were reported as near misses as opposed to errors, and, as a result, no providers reported patient harm,” the publication reported.

Investigators said the good news is that few respondents reported being too busy to report or that the online tool was too complicated.