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Journal Article > Review
Aftermath of an adverse event: supporting health care professionals to meet patient expectations through open disclosure.
Manser T, Staender S. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2005;49:728-734.
The authors explain elements of successful disclosure, including how health care organizations can encourage it.
Kowalczyk L. The Boston Globe. July 24, 2005.
This article reports on a proposed disclosure policy among Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. The policy would outline a process for discussing error with patients and for training physicians on how to apologize.
A Consensus Statement of the Harvard Hospitals. Burlington: Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors; 2006.
This consensus paper of the Harvard-affiliated hospitals was prepared by clinicians, risk managers, and patients to provide an in-depth understanding of preventable adverse events, their impact on patients, families, and providers, and how to manage such events. The report provides detailed guidelines based on the premise that all care should be safe and patient-centered and that all actions require full disclosure. In addition to offering recommendations on how to effectively communicate with patients and families, the report discusses support for caregivers and a detailed strategy for institutions to respond to such events in a timely and appropriate fashion. Finally, the comprehensive report offers several appendices that include recommendations and a case study on communicating with patients and families.
Journal Article > Study
Iedema R, Jorm C, Wakefield J, Ryan C, Sorensen R. J Lang Social Psychol. 2009;28:139-157.
Open disclosure is an important principle and policy in health care, with varying views on its implementation among providers and varying practices in different countries. This article discusses the broad context of an open disclosure policy and provides an empirical analysis of the impact on clinicians.
Journal Article > Commentary
Helmchen LA, Richards MR, McDonald TB. Health Care Manage Rev. 2011;36:1-10.
This commentary compares two cases of preventable medical errors and suggests disclosure and remediation as tactics to establish post–adverse event trust with families and patients.
Journal Article > Study
Pinto A, Faiz O, Vincent C. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012;21:1001-1008.
This study explored current practices related to the National Health Services' being open policy for communicating unintentional harm with patients and families.
Jain M. Washington Post. May 27, 2013.
Hertz BT. Med Econ. 2015;92:40-44.
Communication and response strategies have been shown to improve how organizations, clinicians, and patients and their families recover from adverse incidents. This news article discusses apology laws which protect certain statements regarding disclosure from being admissible in court and highlights how sensitivity to patients and transparent communication about the failure can be beneficial for both clinicians and patients after a medical error.
Park A. Time Magazine. January 24, 2019.
This news article reports on the documentary To Err Is Human, which was produced and directed by the son of patient safety leader Dr. John M. Eisenberg. The film is structured around patient safety advocate Sue Sheridan's experience with diagnostic errors that resulted in harm for both her son and husband. It features a wide range of experts who discuss the impact of error on all involved, the role of culture in facilitating both mistakes and progress, and why continued work in health care safety is needed.
Rein L. Washington Post. August 30, 2019.