Military Health System Does Not Like Patient Safety Bad News

Steve Cukrov/

Staffers fear retaliation, according to the findings of a Pentagon-ordered review.

While the Military Health System received overall good grades in a review ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the 765-page report, released yesterday, shows staffers in military hospitals feared retaliation for reporting patient safety problems.

Much like personnel at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals who blew the whistle on poor practices, MHS staffers expressed concerns that reporting patient problems would lead to a “punitive” response by management.

The MHS review team visited seven military hospitals and reported that “during staff rounds and town hall sessions … employees expressed concerns regarding an environment where reporting was not encouraged and in fact, responses were punitive in nature.”

While management at all seven hospitals indicated the importance of reporting problems, “at least one member of the staff at four out of seven facilities stated that they felt they would be retaliated against for speaking up regarding reporting errors and events,” the review said.

(Image via Steve Cukrov/