Only 65.9 percent of physicians completely agree that they should disclose all significant medical errors to patients, according to a new report in this month's Health Affairs. The remaining 34.1 percent either disagreed with the statement or somewhat agreed. In addition, 19.9 percent of physicians admitted to rarely, sometimes or often not fully disclosing a mistake to a patient in the past year because of a fear of being sued.
In other findings:
- Eleven percent of doctors admitted to rarely, sometimes or often telling an adult patient or guardian something that was not true in the last year.
- When asked if they had rarely, sometimes or often described a patient's prognosis in a more positive manner than was warranted in the past year, 55.2 percent admitted to doing so.
- Approximately 91.4 percent of respondents completely agreed that physicians should never disclose confidential patient health information to an unauthorized individual.
- When asked if physicians should disclose financial relationships with drug and device companies to patients, 64.6 percent completely agreed.
- Roughly 82.8 percent of physicians completely agreed that physicians should never tell a patient something that is not true.