Improving disclosure of medical errors: Including patients and family members in the disclosure process
Over the last decade, adverse events and medical errors have become a main focus of interest for the standards of quality and safety in the U.S. healthcare system (Weinstein & Henderson, 2009). Particularly when a medical error occurs, the disclosure of medical errors and its practices have become a focal point of the healthcare process. Patients and family members who have experienced a medical error might be able to provide knowledge and insight on how to improve the disclose process. However, patient and family member are not typically involved in the disclosure process, thus their experiences go unnoticed. The purpose of this research was to explore how best to include patients and family members in the disclosure process regarding a medical error. The research consisted of 28 qualitative interviews from three stakeholder groups: Hospital Administrators, Clinical Service Providers, and Patients and Family Members. They were asked for their ideas and suggestions on how best to include patients and family members in the disclosure process. Framework Analysis was used to analyze this data and find prevalent themes based on the primary research question. A secondary aim was to index categories created based on the interviews that were collected. Data was used from the Texas Disclosure and Compensation Study with Dr. Eric Thomas as the Principal Investigator. Full acknowledgement of access to this data is given to Dr. Thomas. The themes from the research revealed that each stakeholder group was interested and open to including patients and family members in the disclosure process and that the disclosure process should not be a "one-way" avenue. The themes gave many suggestions regarding how to best include patients and family members in the disclosure process of a medical error. Secondary aims revealed several ways to assess the ideas and suggestion given by the stakeholders. Overall, acceptability of getting the perspective of patients and family members was the most common theme. Comparison of each stakeholder group revealed that including patients and family members would be beneficial to improving hospital disclosure practices. Conclusions included a list of recommendations and measureable appropriate strategies that could provide hospital with key stakeholders insights on how to improve their disclosure process. Sharing patients and family members experience with healthcare providers can encourage a shift in culture where patients are valued and active in participating in hospital practices. To my knowledge, this research is the very first of its kind and moves the disclosure process conversation forward in a patient-family member inclusion direction that will assist in improving disclosure practices. Future research should implement and evaluate the success of the various inclusion strategies.
Medical Ethics|Public health|Health care management
Burress, Landrus, "Improving disclosure of medical errors: Including patients and family members in the disclosure process" (2013). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3568615.