No National Standards for Disclosure of Medical Errors
In Canada there are no national standards or policies regarding the disclosure of medical errors (“adverse events”) to patients. Provinces and health care organizations have been left to decide for themselves what obligations health care providers have to disclose medical errors to patients.
In 2005 The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI ) formed a committee to create national guidelines for the disclosure of “Adverse Events”.
In 2007 CPSI released their draft national guidelines for consultation with various national and provincial health care organizations.
The results of CPSI’s consultations are outlined in this report.
I found the results of the consultation interesting. 81% of those surveyed during the consultation claimed that their organization had developed a policy or procedure for disclosure of adverse events (medical errors).
But more than half of those surveyed (53%) said their organization doesn’t offer training (or they don’t know if training is offered) regarding disclosure of adverse events.
I have said it before, health care policies can be helpful but only if health care professionals know what the policies are and are properly trained in how to apply the policies.
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