Monday, July 25, 2005


From the Boston Globe

"Hospitals study when to apologize to patients"

Harvard Medical School's major teaching hospitals are considering adopting a sweeping disclosure policy that would establish detailed procedures for physicians to openly acknowledge medical errors and other bad results to their patients, and provide for training in apologizing.

A group of physicians, patients, and executives from the hospitals, led by Dr. Lucian Leape, a national specialist on patient safety, began drafting the policy last year. In recent months, the group circulated a 50-page first draft among hospital leaders, who responded favorably to its broad goals but have suggested numerous revisions, which the group is now implementing.

If Harvard's largest teaching hospitals -- Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Children's Hospital Boston -- adopt the policy, it would create a uniform response across the Harvard system to some of medicine's most difficult situations. The Harvard hospitals also would join a growing number of US medical centers and malpractice insurers that are embracing immediate and open disclosure and apology to patients when medical care goes wrong.

''I'm trying to get all the Harvard hospitals to adopt the policy," said Leape, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. ''The time has come to be open with our patients."


Post a Comment

<< Home