All hospitals make mistakes, they are run by people, it is inevitable. But when a hospital makes a mistake, most people expect the doctor and hospital to come forward and explain the error so that everyone can work together to correct it. Everyone has a friend or relative that has a horror story regarding hospital care. To test those stories, ProPublica conducted a three year survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to measure hospital errors and other associated events.
ProPublica surveyed more than 1,000 people and sent them a detailed questionnaire that allowed the respondents to expand upon their experiences. They found that only one in five people reported that the hospital disclosed that an error had occurred. Moreover, in about half of those cases the hospital divulged the information only after threats of a lawsuit or official complaint. ProPublica also found that only one in eight people received an apology.