Results of a Survey on Medical Error Reporting Systems in Korean Hospitals
- Issue Date
- INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INFORMATICS Vol.75 No.2, pp. 148-155
; Medical errors
; Hospital information
system (HIS) ; Hospital incident
- Background: Recent data suggest that medical injuries, or adverse events, represent
an important international problem, and that many are caused by errors. Spontaneous
reporting is the main tool used to detect errors and adverse events in most
countries, and reporting systems are believed to be important for improving patient
safety. Increasingly, such reporting can be done using information systems, and information
systems are widely used in Korea. However, few data are available regarding
the use of electronic medical error reporting systems in Korea.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the present status of
reporting system of Korean hospitals, and to compare the current status of medical
error reporting systems with that of other health information sub systems.
Methods: The chairs of nursing departments of all 283 hospitals nationwide with
more than 100 beds were surveyed using a structured questionnaire. The response
rate was 35%. In addition, two reports on the national use of health information
systems in Korea from 1999 and 2003 were analyzed.
Results: Among reporting hospitals (n = 99), medical errors were reported on paper
in 75 hospitals (77%), verbally in 30 hospitals (30%), using word processing in 13 hospitals
(13%), and using the hospital information system in only three hospitals (3%).
In contrast, there was widespread and increasing use of health information technology
(HIT) in areas such as medication administration, inpatient and outpatient order
entry, and radiology.
Conclusions: While HIT is increasingly widely used in Korea in many areas, it is not
being used for error reporting. Increasing the use of electronic reporting systems,
and systemically evaluating the medical errors and adverse events reported, represent
essential steps for reducing systemic errors and improving patient safety.
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