As patients directly experience harm from adverse events, investigators have proposed patient‐report to complement professional reporting of adverse events.
To investigate how an automated health assessment system can be used to identify adverse events.
Design and setting
Internet survey responses from April 2003 to April 2005 involving communities and clinical practices across the USA.
44860 adults aged 19–69 years.
Patient perceptions of adverse events experienced during the previous year. Independent legal review was also used to estimate how many patient‐reports were serious enough to be potentially compensable.
Although patient reports of possible adverse events was low (1.4%), the percentage of adverse events was eight times higher for patients with the greatest burden of illness than for those with the least (3.4% vs 0.4%). Two expert malpractice attorneys agreed that 9% of the adverse events seemed to be serious.
Patients will use internet technology to report their perceptions of health‐related adverse events. Some of the patient‐reported events reported will be serious.