Skip to main content

Disclosing Adverse Events to Patients

Buy Article:

$12.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Background: The rationale for, and recommended approaches to, disclosing adverse events to patients are examined on the basis of the experience of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VHA's National Ethics Committee endorses a general policy requiring the routine disclosure of adverse events to patients and offers practical recommendations for implementation.

Practical Approaches to Disclosing Adverse Events: Disclosure is required when the adverse event (1) has a perceptible effect on the patient that was not discussed in advance as a known risk; (2) necessitates a change in the patient's care; (3) potentially poses an important risk to the patient's future health, even if that risk is extremely small; (4) involves providing a treatment or procedure without the patient's consent. From an ethical perspective, disclosure is required and should not be limited to cases in which the injury is obvious or severe. Disclosure of near misses is also discretionary but is advisable at times. In general, disclosure by a clinician involved in the patient's care is appropriate.

Conclusion: Although a variety of psychological and cultural factors may make clinicians and organizations reluctant to disclose adverse events to patients, the arguments favoring routine disclosure are compelling. Organizations should develop clear policies supporting disclosure and should create supportive environments that enable clinicians to meet their ethical obligations to disclose adverse events to patients and families.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15537250). For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit www.myelsevier.com for more information. All other readers, please visit http://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/ to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Reprints and Permissions
  • Index
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more