Patients Report Emotional Trauma, Financial Loss, Obfuscation from Providers after Adverse Events

September 30, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Patients and family members reported profound and lasting medical, financial, emotional, and other effects of adverse events, and perceived a lack of accountability or willingness to involve patients in their care on the part of healthcare providers, according to survey results published in the October 2015 BMJ Quality & Safety. The survey included 1,805 events described by 696 respondents from throughout the United States, of whom 450 also included narrative descriptions of the adverse event and suggested solutions to prevent similar events from occurring again. More than 500 of the responses noted that the patient or their family suffered emotional trauma as a result of the adverse events; stress related to caregiving was noted by approximately 300 respondents, as was financial loss. Loss of lifestyle, guilt, and loss of employment were all also frequently mentioned consequences.

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