Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HERO Online Working Paper Series,
University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme

No 2004:11: Medical errors: Mandatory reporting, voluntary reporting, or both?

Sverre Grepperud ()
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Sverre Grepperud: Institute of Health Management and Health Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: This work evaluates policy recommendations on medical error reporting systems presented in, To err is human, a report published by the Institute of Medicine. Here mandatory reporting should be applied for adverse events, while voluntary reporting is recommended for near misses. This analysis shows that an error reporting scheme of this type is not an optimal one since both near misses and adverse events may remain unreported. This work makes evident that penalising health care decision makers for not reporting errors, independent of error category, is crucial for reaching the first-best solution.

Keywords: Microeconomic theory; agency; iatrogenic injury

JEL-codes: D82; I18; K42

19 pages, June 14, 2009

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