Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How NOT to Solicit Adverse Medical Event Reports

My Twitter and real-life pal Fabio Gratton (@skypen) -- Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer of Ignite Health -- sent out this tweet today:
New Web Site Invites Patients To Report on Adverse Medical Events: http://bit.ly/bp7EGx #fdasm #hcsm
Where Fabio tweets, I follow!

So I clicked on the link and found this article:
The Empowered Patient Coalition and Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project have launched a Web site that invites patients to fill out a 40-question survey about their experiences with an adverse medical event, Modern Healthcare reports.

The survey asks respondents to provide details on the incident, such as:

* The state where the error occurred;
* The type of health care provider involved;
* The procedure or treatment associated with the incident;
* Factors contributing to the error;
* Whether the affected patient considered legal action; and
* How the health care provider responded to the incident.

Patients have the option of submitting the survey anonymously.

The coalition said it plans to aggregate the information and use it to identify patterns that could lead to adverse medical events.
At first, I thought this survey was the one developed by Dr. Basch mentioned in my previous post: "If Patients Know Best, then Patient Social Networks Can Help Capture and Report AEs". Not the case. The article linked to this Empowered Patient Coalition web page.

I wanted to fill out the survey, but it quickly dawned on me that I had better things to do with my life than to wade through a Survey Monkey survey consisting of 43 (not 40) questions, many of them open ended.

This survey is no easier than the FDA's MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form.

I don't see very many patients filling out the Empowered Patient Coalition form, which is too bad because I believe in the Coalition's cause: "We want the public to know that they can and must be the cornerstone to improving health care quality and safety and that their experiences are being counted. Sharing your story will ensure that your experiences will assist us in collecting data to be used to identify the sources of medical harm and to look for ways to keep patients safe in the future."

As far as "sharing stories" goes, patients are already doing that on sites like PatientsLikeMe, which can be mined for adverse events as I discussed here.

2 comments:

  1. An unprompted AE social discussion is more accurate then a long form.

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  2. A survey, especially an online one with 40 plus questions is WAY too long, especially when there is no big incentive to do so. Most surveys that get successfully filled out online are those with only several questions at most and perhaps an open ended one for extra comments.

    The companies can also throw in some type of gift for filling out such surveys, maybe a sample of one of their over-the-counter products.

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