• Study
  • Published June 2016

Patients and families as teachers: a mixed methods assessment of a collaborative learning model for medical error disclosure and prevention.

Health systems struggle with how to effectively involve patients in safety efforts without placing undue responsibility or blame on them. Greater patient–clinician collaboration is particularly important for error disclosure because of the well-documented gaps in clinician and patient perspectives. In this study, investigators developed an intervention to have patients or family members teach error disclosure and prevention to interprofessional clinician learners, including physicians, nurses, and social workers. Their pre–post evaluation showed that the majority of patient and clinician participants reported improved communication and found the intervention valuable. Patient and clinician participation was voluntary. Although these results show promise for involving patients and families as teachers for error disclosure and prevention training, further work is needed to determine whether this approach will be effective among broader health care teams, as opposed to interested clinicians who volunteer. A related editorial discusses the challenges of including patients in safety efforts.

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