(Reuters Health)—Parents often catch medical errors that their child’s doctor missed, according to a U.S. study that suggests families may be an untapped resource for improving hospital safety and preventing mistakes.
Roughly one in 10 parents spotted mistakes that physicians did not, according to the study of safety incidents observed on two pediatrics units at a hospital in Boston.
“Parents may notice different things than healthcare providers do, and thereby provide complementary information that can only help make care safer,” said lead study author Dr. Alisa Khan, a pediatrics researcher at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital.
“As anyone who has ever been hospitalized knows, hospitals are very complex places where there are a lot of moving parts, and errors are bound to happen despite all of our best efforts,” Khan added by email. “I think we—including parents—can all work together to keep children safe.”