Quarterly scientific journal

Qualitative Patterns of Medical Errors: Research Findings from Greece

Ioannis Pollalis , Athanassios Vozikis , Marina Riga

Abstract

For many years, medical errors have been a frequent phenomenon in the Health Care Systems and an important cause of mortality and morbidity, all over the world. Medical errors are on the increase both in Europe and in the United States of America which have forced them to confront the problem and take measures. In Greece, an increasing number of patients are worried about the possibility of suffering a medical error but the organisations they can turn to are just few and with limited intervention power. Aim: The aim of the present study is to present current situation of medical errors in Greece. Material and Methods: An extensive search was carried out to find the relevant authorities and the organisations where the various parties affected by the medical errors turn to. We reviewed the national and international literature as well as local audit results of the last decade. Results: The findings from our research confirmed the conclusion that the medical malpractice issue is present in the Greek Health System too, and that the invasive medical specialties seem to come up against the highest rates of adverse events. So, co-operation and trust between patients, health care professionals, hospital management, medical councils and the government are essential to get to the root of the problem.

Keywords: Medical error, adverse event, medical malpractice, quality of health care

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