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Public perception of medical errors: experiences and risks shared in Australia


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Kim, J, Terry, D, Jang, S, Nguyen, H ORCID: 0000-0003-4281-5948, Gilbert, J and Cruickshank, M 2020 , 'Public perception of medical errors: experiences and risks shared in Australia' , Universal Journal of Public Health, vol. 8, no. 1 , pp. 35-41 , doi: 10.13189/ujph.2020.080104.

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Background: Research into patient safety has largely focused on healthcare organisations bureaucratic routines, with little research available regarding the impact of patient perceptions on clinical practice. Acknowledging and openly discussing patient perceptions of medical errors may result in improved quality of healthcare. The research study aimed to gain a better understanding of the public's perception of medical errors to drive a structured approach to improve healthcare outcomes. Methods: In this study, we examined the public experiences of medical errors using an anonymous on-line survey to collect empirical data from April to December 2018. A total of 407 responses were obtained with 303 participants meeting the criteria for inclusion in the study. Results: The majority (74.9%) of these participants identified that they had experienced a medical error during receiving healthcare in Australia and 73% of these confirmed that they were harmed as a result of these errors. Conclusion: Findings from this study indicate that many participants have experienced medical errors when accessing healthcare in Australia. These findings provide information and a deeper understanding of patient experiences and perceptions of healthcare service delivery which can be used by healthcare organisations to improve healthcare services and promote patient participation in their care.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kim, J and Terry, D and Jang, S and Nguyen, H and Gilbert, J and Cruickshank, M
Keywords: patient safety, medical error, public perception, Australia
Journal or Publication Title: Universal Journal of Public Health
Publisher: Horizon Research Publishing
ISSN: 2331-8880
DOI / ID Number: 10.13189/ujph.2020.080104
Copyright Information:

Copyright © 2020 by authors, all rights reserved. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (

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