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Are Secret Shoppers an Antidote for Medical Errors

Are Secret Shoppers an Antidote for Medical Errors


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Arthur Lazarus, MD, MBA
Arrogance among physicians and other healthcare providers may contribute to errors in medical practice. The use of “secret shoppers� to uncover medical errors is an untapped strategy to reduce their occurrence, as the primary focus of secret shopping, both in the retail industry and in medical settings, has been service -not quality- oriented. A new, robust role for secret shoppers in medicine will require specialization in the principles and practices of quality management, and physicians rather than consumers may be best suited for the job.