Honesty in the Perioperative Setting: Error and Communication
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Since the Institute of Medicine report, “To Err is Human,” there has been a great focus on medical errors and the creation of systems to prevent the occurrence of these errors. Error disclosure is critical to managing medical errors in order to uphold the ethical principles of autonomy and truth-telling, both integral to the physician-patient relationship. Surgeons feel responsible for their patients’ outcomes and report that errors should be disclosed though the surgeon may not have the proper training in disclosure. Institutional support, both for the emotional disruption that physicians face and for disclosure training programs, is important to advance patient-centered communication and high-quality health care.
KeywordsMedical Error Disclosure Communication Physician-Patient Relationship Ethics
Edward Dunn, MD for providing expertise on error disclosure and the development of the disclosure training program at the Lexington VAMC.
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