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Disclosing Harmful Mammography Errors to Patients


Greater openness with patients about harmful errors is recommended. Many ethicists and professional organizations endorse disclosure of harmful errors to patients.The Joint Commission’s accreditation standards now require that patients be informed about unanticipated outcomes. In response, many hospitals are developing disclosure programs. Yet, recent studies suggest that disclosure of harmful medical errors to patients is the exception
rather than the rule. This article explores radiologists’ attitudes about disclosing errors to patients by using a survey with a vignette involving an error interpreting a patient’s mammogram, leading to a delayed cancer diagnosis.


Gallagher TH, Cook AJ, Brenner RJ, et al. Disclosing harmful mammography errors to patients. Radiology. 2009;253(2):443-452. doi:10.1148/radiol.2532082320