INTRODUCTION: Medical malpractice and litigation have a significant impact on the Italian National Health Service. The aim of this study was to analyze the state of the art of medical errors in Italy, in particular, assessing which specialties are most affected. METHODS: We performed a literature search in PubMed, Google Scholar; institutional websites (Ministry of Health, Higher Institute of Health, National Agency for Regional Health Services, National Institute of Statistics, National Research Council, Court of Auditors), gray literature and specialized magazines. RESULTS: Results show that data regarding the frequency of medical errors and the effectiveness of prevention measures in Italy are scarce. Most papers published on this topic refer to a few specialties, including Surgery, Radiology, Cardiology, and Laboratory medicine. Surgery is the specialty most affected. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a growing attention towards patient safety and quality of healthcare, medical errors continue to occur in clinical practice. Most errors are not due to individual incompetence or negligence but they are rooted in system breakdowns. A systematic approach is therefore required, based on: an analysis of critical aspects in the system; the selection and implementation, at different levels of the system, of appropriate and evidence-based risk management interventions involving all stakeholders; a context analysis to identify barriers and facilitators for change; a performance assessment to verify results and identify actions for improvement.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] Epidemiological and economic burden of medical error: analysis of the literature in our country [Burden of medical errors in Italy: an analysis of the literature]|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||IGIENE E SANITÀ PUBBLICA|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Medical error