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Disclosing Unexpected Outcomes and Medical Error

Disclosing Unexpected Outcomes and Medical Error


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by Daniel O?Connell, Ph.D. and Sandra W. Reifsteck, R.N., M.S., F.A.C.M.P.E.
Health-care professionals have a responsibility to communicate honestly and empathetically with patients and families when there has been a disappointing outcome in care. They need to understand how all parties think about, feel, and react to the situation. It is too easy for health-care providers and patients and their families to feel that their interests are no longer aligned and to have expectations go unmet.