Structuring Patient And Family Involvement In Medical Error Event Disclosure And Analysis
Author: Jason M. Etchegaray, Madelene J. Ottosen, Landrus Burress, William M. Sage, Sigall K. Bell, Thomas H. Gallagher, Eric J. Thomas
The study of adverse event disclosure has typically focused on the words that are said to the patient and family members after an event. But there is also growing interest in determining how patients and their families can be involved in the analysis of the adverse events that harmed them. We conducted a two-phase study to understand whether patients and families who have experienced an adverse event should be involved in the postevent analysis following the disclosure of a medical error. We first conducted twenty-eight interviews with patients, family members, clinicians, and administrators to determine the extent to which patients and family members are included in event analysis processes and to learn how their experiences might be improved. Then we reviewed our interview findings with patients and health care experts at a one-day national conference in October 2011. After evaluating the findings, conference participants concluded that increasing the involvement of patients and their families in the event analysis process was desirable but needed to be structured in a patient-centered way to be successful. We conclude by describing when and how information from patients might be incorporated into the event analysis process and by offering recommendations on how this might be accomplished.