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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Emotional harm from disrespect: the neglected preventable harm.

Sokol-Hessner L, Folcarelli PH, Sands KEF. BMJ quality & safety. 2015;24:550-3.

Health care–associated harm can be physical, financial, or emotional. Advocating for increased focus on emotional harm resulting from insufficient respect for patients, this commentary reviews a conceptual framework developed by a multidisciplinary panel and recommends that institutions promote voluntary reporting of these harms, work to understand the severity of harm, and determine accountability when these events occur. The authors encourage health professionals to address emotional harms with the same rigor that has been applied to physical harms. Patient-centered care has been proposed as a strategy for reducing preventable harms.