The American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing its members to admit when they make mistakes as a way to improve patient safety. In a policy statement produced by an AAP quality-improvement committee and published online in the journal Pediatrics, the group called on pediatricians to support the adoption of a safety culture and "lead efforts to eliminate avoidable harm."
Pediatricians urged to admit care mistakes
"Front-line staff must be willing and able to report errors and adverse events without fear of retribution," according to the policy statement. The AAP advocated a "just culture" in which organizations focus on addressing systems-level issues rather than individual errors in a nonpunitive environment.
Children face greater risk from medical harm because of their early stage of development, their dependency on parents and other caregivers and other factors, the authors wrote. In addition, computerized physician order-entry systems, which have shown promise in improving safety for adult patients, have not proved nearly as effective for children, the authors said.
Despite some limitations, however, the last few years have brought significant gains in the field of pediatric patient safety, in particular in the development of tailored solutions for children and new measurement tools, according to the statement.
"Nonetheless, continued work is needed to infuse these data and concepts into everyday pediatric practice for all clinicians, and special attention should be paid to the training of new clinicians to ensure that the future workforce can exercise all the tenets of pediatric patient safety as part of their everyday work life,” the authors wrote.
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