Why patients don't report medical errors
by Marshall Allen , ProPublica
I was recently browsing through the nearly 200 stories we've compiled with our Patient Harm Questionnaire , when I was reminded again of a troubling truth. Many of the people who suffer harm while undergoing medical care do not file formal complaints with regulators. The reasons are numerous: They're often traumatized, disabled, unaware they've been a victim of a medical error or don't understand the bureaucracy.
That's a problem for those individual patients and for the rest of us. There are many places to complain: a state licensing agency ; a professional licensing board that monitors doctors or nurses ; the Joint Commission , which accredits hospitals or a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization .