A panel of national university hospital chiefs set up to establish measures to prevent medical malpractice has unveiled a final report that calls for public disclosure of incidents of apparent malpractice and the creation of a new management system for medical records.
The report, released Thursday, also urges medical institutions to introduce high-tech information tools to control medical examinations and the administration of medicine, and risk managers who will be in charge of preventing malpractice as well as ways of dealing with accidents.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology intends to ask 42 national university hospitals nationwide to use the report as a guideline and to support such institutions in personnel and funds as the guidelines are implemented.
The report makes it a basic principle to explain what has happened to patients and their families as soon as possible in the event of any malpractice.
The report says disclosure of such incidents to the public is significant in information-sharing between medical institutions and also in ensuring the transparency of medical practice.
The report says institutions should disclose incidents of apparent malpractice and “near-miss” incidents if raising the alarm will be of help to other medical institutions.
The report emphasizes that doctors and patients should “stand on an equal footing” and asked medical institutions to show medical records to patients and their families, saying, “Doctors should provide necessary and sufficient information to patients in order to respect their right to self-determination and to produce the desired therapeutic effect.”
In order to disclose medical records, the report proposes an improved management system for such records that includes compiling simple and easy to understand records and integration of these records and nurses’ records.
It also proposes a system of integrated records for patients, abolishing the current system in which records are managed at each medical department.
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