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Errors and matters of judgment


Even good doctors make mistakes

Error and blame


Finger pointing directly towards the viewerDo not rush to blame healthcare providers or patients.

When discussing an unexpected patient outcome, the use of the term "error" should generally be avoided, especially before all the facts are known.

"Error" often misrepresents the reasons for clinical outcomes, and implies blame toward an individual that is often inappropriate, especially if judged prematurely.

An inappropriate focus on provider error ("blame and shame") and a punitive approach is now recognized as being unfair. Such an approach ultimately inhibits the reporting of adverse events (accidents in Québec) and consequently the system changes that may be required to prevent similar events from occurring in future.