This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.
Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.
Institution: University of Washington, Seattle
Grant Title: Enhancing
the Disclosure of Medical Errors to Patients
Grant Number: K08 HS014012
Total Award: $629,500
Project Description: This research had four main
- To describe the attitudes of physicians towards error disclosure and
determine whether these attitudes are related to personal characteristics (e.g.
demographics, specialty, time in practice).
- To describe the attitudes of patients
towards error disclosure and determine whether these attitudes are related to
personal characteristics (e.g., socio-demographics, past experiences,
perceptions of medical care) and how they relate to important outcomes such as
trust, satisfaction, and intent to change providers or sue.
- To assess
whether current institutional policies support full disclosure of medical
- To develop and disseminate a model institutional error
disclosure policy and assess the policy's impact on health care providers'
attitudes towards and experience with error disclosure.
Career Goals: Dr. Gallagher is an attending physician and Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical History & Ethics at the University of Washington Medical Center. He received his MD from Harvard University and did his residency in Internal Medicine at the Barnes Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis. This was followed by a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars position at the University of California, San Francisco. He continues to conduct health services research with a focus on medical errors
Progress to Date: This grant has been
completed. Dr. Gallagher found patients uniformly desire the disclosure of
harmful errors. Physicians in both the United States and Canada support the disclosure of medical errors to patients but are unsure how this should
Highlights and Specific Accomplishments:
- Best Published Research Paper of the Year, Society of General Internal medicine, 2004.
- Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholars in Bioethics Award, 2003.
K-Generated Publications (selected):
Gallagher TH, Levinson W. A prescription for protecting the doctor-patient
relationship. Response to letter to editor. American Journal of Managed Care
Gallagher TH, Waterman AD, Ebers AG, et al. Patients' and physicians'
attitudes regarding the disclosure of medical errors. Journal of the American Medical Association 2003. 289:1001-7.
Jeffe DB, Dunagan WC, Garbutt
J, Burroughs TE, Gallagher TH, et al. Physicians' and nurses' perspectives
on error reporting in hospitals. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and
Safety 2004. 30:471-79.
Burroughs TE, Waterman AD, Gallagher
TH, et al. Patient concerns about medical errors in emergency departments.
Academic Emergency Medicine 2005. 12(1):57-64.
Gallagher TH, Lucas M. Should we disclose harmful medical errors
to pPatients. If so, how? Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management 2005.
Chan D, Gallagher TH,
Reznick R, Levinson W. How surgeons disclose medical errors: A study using standardized
patients. Surgery 2005. 138:851-58.
Waterman AD, Gallagher TH,
Garbutt J, et al. Hospitalized patients' attitudes about and participation in error
prevention. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2006. 21:367-70.
Gallagher TH, Garbutt JM, Waterman AD, et al. Choosing your words carefully:
How physicians would disclose harmful errors to patients. Archives of Internal Medicine
Gallagher TH, Brundage G, Bommarito KM, et al. Risk managers' attitudes
and experiences regarding patient safety and error disclosure: A national survey.
Journal of Healthcare Risk Management 2006. 26:11-6.
Surbonne AS, Rowe M, Gallagher
TH. Confronting medical errors in oncology and disclosing them to cancer
patients. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2007. 12:1463-67.
Gallagher TH, Studdert DM, Levinson W. Disclosing harmful medical
errors to patients. New England Journal of Medicine 2007. 356:2713-19.
Levinson W, Gallagher TH.
Disclosing medical errors to patients: A status report in 2007. CMAJ 2007.
Return to Career Development Award Grants