An Overview of Disclosing Medical Errors

Event Information
Product Format
Prerecorded Event
60 Minutes
Product Description

Tackle These Five Specific Challenges For Disclosing Medical Error.

Disclosing a serious, harm-causing medical error can be one of the most wrenching experiences a health professional can have.  Fears over organizational censure, malpractice litigation, and even licensure sanction can have a chilling effect on the communication, such that it might not occur in a patient-centered way.

This presentation will discuss various barriers to the empathic disclosure of medical error and offer suggestions (that are nevertheless not to be taken as legal advice or as representing the standard of care) on how such conversations might occur in an ethical fashion.

Check out these five specific challenges in disclosing medical error, all involving the health provider’s professional obligation to disclose harm-causing error in a patient centered way:

  • The fear of a malpractice suit following the disclosure;
  • Dealing with anxious feelings of embarrassment and humiliation during the disclosure;
  • The urge to rationalize concealment or omission of disclosure information on the (usually false) grounds that the patient or family member will be harmed by the information
  • Why patient-centered error disclosure is not only the ethical thing to do but will often lessen the risk of being sued   
  • The failure to realize how concealing errors can harm patients or family members  

In addition, this session will help you:

  • Describe the meaning of “patient-centered” error disclosure
  • Discuss psychological and legal barriers in disclosing medical errors truthfully
  • Explain contemporary risk management trends that favor the honest disclosure of medical error
  • Describe numerous communication strategies using empathy that can be enormously useful in conducting emotionally painful conversations
  • List organizational strategies to improve patient-centered disclosure of medical error

Who should attend? The most obvious attendees are physicians, medical directors, clinical service directors (like nursing or pharmacy), and risk management personnel.  However, all health professionals should have a basic understanding of the challenges implicit in disclosing medical errors and the common mistakes that are committed in such communications.

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About Our Speaker

John Banja - Medical Coding Expert

John D. Banja is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and a medical ethicist at the John and Susan Wieland Center for Ethics at Emory University. He also directs the Section on Ethics in Research and Participant Advocacy of the Atlanta Clinical Translation Science Institute at Emory.

received a doctorate degree in philosophy from Fordham University in New York and has taught and lectured on...   More Info
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