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Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2006 Jul;32(7):382-92.

Getting doctors to report medical errors: project DISCLOSE.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Temple University Hospital, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.



Despite the number of patient safety incidents that occur in hospitals, physicians currently may not have the ideal incident reporting tools for easy disclosure. A study was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of a simplified paper incident reporting process for internal medicine physicians on uncovering patient safety incidents.


Thirty-nine internal medicine attending physicians were instructed to incorporate the use of a simplified paper incident reporting tool (DISCLOSE) into daily patient rounds during a three-month period. All physicians were surveyed at the conclusion of the three months.


Compared with physician reporting via the hospital's traditional incident reports from the same time period, a higher number (98 incidents versus 37; a 2.6-fold increase) of incidents were uncovered using the DISCLOSE reporting tool in a larger number of error categories (58 versus 14, a 4.1-fold increase). When reviewed and classified with a five-point harm scale, 41% of events were judged to have reached patients but not caused harm, 33% to have resulted in temporary harm, and 9% of reports, though not considered events, were to indicate a "risky situation." Surveyed physicians were more satisfied with the process of submitting incident reports using the new DISCLOSE tool.


A simplified incident reporting process at the point of care generated a larger number and breadth of physician disclosed error categories, and increased physician satisfaction with the process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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