Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA / 30.11.2019 Interview with: Karina Pereira-Lima, PhD Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor Department of Psychiatry, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil What is the background for this study? Response: Questions regarding the magnitude and direction of the associations between physician depressive symptoms and medical errors remain open in recent literature. By pooling data from 11 studies involving 21,517 physicians, we were able to verify that depressive symptoms among physicians were associated with increased risk of reporting medical errors (RR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.63 – 2.33). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurology, Outcomes & Safety, Parkinson's, Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania / 04.10.2018 Interview with: Allison W. Willis, MD, MS Assistant Professor of Neurology Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute Senior Scholar, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study was motivated by my own experiences as a neurologist-neuroscientist. I care for Parkinson disease patients, and over the year, have had numerous instances in which a person was taking a medication that could interact with their Parkinson disease medications, or could worsen their PD symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care / 30.07.2018 Interview with: Benjamin H. Schnapp, MD BerBee Walsh Department of Emergency Medicine Assistant Professor (CHS) Assistant Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director University of Wisconsin What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Medical errors harm thousands of patients per year.  There’s already a lot we know about systems errors - the ways that care delivery can go wrong.  We know less about cognitive errors, or the ways in which doctors think that can lead to bad outcomes.  An Emergency Department can feel particularly vulnerable to this type of errors - it’s a chaotic environment with patients in various states of illness, many unaccompanied, without records, or too ill to communicate well. An Emergency Department with trainee physicians can feel even more chaotic - even though they are supervised by staff physicians, resident physicians in their first few months to years of training have not yet accumulated the same level of knowledge and experience as longer-tenured doctors.  Errors that get made on the hospital floor are errors of information processing - physicians have the right information, they just don’t always do the right thing with it.  We wanted to know what kinds of errors get made in an Emergency Department with trainees.  Are the errors related to the chaos and an inability to obtain reliable information from patients?  Are they related to the trainees not having enough knowledge and experience?  Or are they like the errors that get made on an inpatient floor? Our study found that the most frequent type of errors were errors of information processing - just like on the hospital floors.  The most common types of errors we saw were physicians settling on a diagnosis prematurely and weighing the importance of findings incorrectly. Patients with abdominal problems had the highest number of errors in our study.  Patients with certain risk factors, such as psychiatric disease or substance abuse, seemed to be particularly prone to errors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Outcomes & Safety / 17.02.2017 Interview wth: Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS Board Chairman of Health Watch USA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The genesis of our study was a desire to respond to a keynote speech at a major national patient safety conference which seemed to mitigate the problem of preventable hospital mortality in the United States. Our main finding is that there is credible evidence indicating that the preventable hospital mortality rate is more than 160,000 per year. When one considers the events which were not captured, and that we did not count diagnostic errors or post-discharge presentation of events, this number can be projected to approximate or exceed 200,000. (more…)
Author Interviews, Outcomes & Safety / 15.09.2016 Interview with: Charlotte Yeh MD FACEP Chief Medical Officer AARP Services, Inc Dr. Charlotte Yeh is the Chief Medical Officer for AARP Services, Inc . In her role, Dr. Yeh works with the independent carriers that make health-related products and services available to AARP members, to identify programs and initiatives that will lead to enhanced care for older adults. Dr. Yeh has more than 30 years of healthcare experience – as a practitioner and Chief of Emergency Medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Tufts Medical Center, as the Medical Director for the National Heritage Insurance Company, a Medicare Part B claims contractor, and as the Regional Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Boston. In this interview, Dr. Yeh comments on the September 2016 AARP Bulletin feature that focuses on twelve common health care blunders and how they can be avoided. What is the background for this report? How big is the problem of medical errors? Dr. Yeh: Medical errors first became widely acknowledged in 1999 with the publication of the landmark study by the National Academy of Sciences (IOM), formerly called the Institute of Medicine (IOM), estimating as many as 98,000 hospital in-patient deaths per year were caused by medical errors. More recently, a study from Johns Hopkins noted that medical errors may claim as many as 251,000 lives per year. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Electronic Records, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 04.08.2016 Interview with: Stephanie Mueller, MD MPH FHM Division of General Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02120 What is the background for this study?  Response: Failures in communication among healthcare personnel are known threats to patient safety, and occur all too commonly during times of care transition, such as when patient care responsibility is transferred from one provider to another (i.e., handoff). Such failures in communication put patients at risk for adverse outcomes. (more…)