When things go wrong in the health care system, patients and families have the right to be informed. A health professional’s engagement with consumers at these difficult times will shape the experience, impact attitudes towards ongoing treatment options, and the consumer’s future engagement with clinicians and health services.
Effective open disclosure conversations can assist health service organisations to manage adverse events compassionately for consumers and staff, as well as improving communication and organisational systems.
It is widely acknowledged that these conversations can be difficult to have, but are integral in respecting consumers and delivering quality care.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (2012) describes Open Disclosure as the transparent communication between clinicians and patients about incidents that have resulted in harm during their health care stay.