Know the Difference Between Disclosure and Reporting; and Other Communication Advice from AAP

November 30, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Patients, their families, and providers are better served "when full and honest communications" occur after adverse events, concluded the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in a November 2016 policy statement. There is increasing evidence that honest and transparent communication between providers, patients, patients and family members can promote a culture of safety and decrease harm from medical errors. But, despite "compelling benefits and ethical imperatives for adverse event disclosure," AAP said, many providers have difficulty informing patients and their families after something has gone wrong. Adverse events affect more than just patients and their families, and can have "devastating effects" on healthcare providers, AAP noted. This includes emotional consequences both from the event itself and subsequent litigation. In order to better facilitate disclosure, AAP offered several recommendations.

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