One can imagine the situation in most other countries of the world where no such efforts have been made in the public or private sector for detecting/reporting or preventing the medical errors.
However, even though the results are slow it would be incorrect to underestimate the progress. The patient safety movement has made a significant impact in many ways. First and foremost, the level of awareness of users—the public, has definitely been enhanced.
The care providers, too, are displaying an increasing concern about the incidence of medical errors. Countries like Denmark have enacted legislations requiring mandatory reporting of adverse events.
In other countries such as USA, voluntary reporting is being encouraged by legislative safeguards against legal liability arising out of reporting the incidents.
Many organizations in USA have started reporting the medical errors after the provision of legislative safeguards against liability arising from disclosure.
Another significant development that is playing a major role in improving the patient safety standards is the spread of quality movement.
Patient safety is an integral and important component of the accreditation standards of all the accreditation agencies such as JCAHO/JCI, NABH.
Care providers aspiring for accreditation have to improve and maintain the patient safety standards at the prescribed level. Not only that, they are required to carry out complete root cause analysis, implement corrective measures and monitor the effectiveness of corrective measures.
Reporting of medical errors is an issue crucial to patient safety. Unless the medical errors are reported and analyzed, any reduction in the incidence is unlikely. However, it is also a fact that unless the doctors themselves voluntarily come forward and report, it is very difficult to even identify these errors.
It has been a well known fact that the medical professionals/ health care providers would like to keep the medical errors under the wraps for fear of liability cases. Since these errors, generally remain unreported, they mostly remain uninvestigated and unanalyzed.
Because of that there is no serious or sincere effort at finding the corrective measures. As a result, the incidence of medical errors, and the public losses in terms of injuries, disability and deaths as well as the resultant economic losses continue unabated.