The right to be informed and fear of disclosure: Sustainability of a full error disclosure policy at an Italian cancer centre/clinic

Stefano D'Errico, Sara Pennelli, Antonio Prospero Colasurdo, Paola Frati, Lorella Sicuro, Vittorio Fineschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the behaviour of physicians in cases of medical error as well as the nature of the information that should be given to the patient and to ascertain whether it is possible to institute a full error disclosure policy. Data was collected through the completion of anonymous questionnaires by medical directors of the IRCCS CROB (the Oncology Centre of Basilicata, Italy). Methods: An anonymous questionnaire consisting of 15 questions was prepared and administered to all the physicians working at the IRCCS CROB - the Oncology Centre of Basilicata. The main aim of the research was to evaluate the feasibility of adopting a full disclosure policy and the extent to which such a policy could help reduce administration and legal costs. Results: The physicians interviewed unanimously recognize the importance of error disclosure, given that they themselves would want to be informed if they were the patients. However, 50% have never disclosed a medical error to their patients. Fear of losing the patient's trust (33%) and fear of lawsuits (31%) are the main obstacles to error disclosure. Conclusions: The authors found that physicians were in favour of a full policy disclosure at the IRCCS CROB - the Oncology Centre of Basilicata. Many more studies need to be carried out in order to comprehend the economic impact of a full error disclosure policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015

Keywords

  • Clinical risk management
  • Full disclosure policy
  • Information
  • Medical errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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