A mediation skills model to manage disclosure of errors and adverse events to patients

Health Aff (Millwood). 2004 Jul-Aug;23(4):22-32. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.23.4.22.


In 2002 Pennsylvania became the first state to impose on hospitals a statutory duty to notify patients in writing of a serious event. If the disclosure conversations are carefully planned, properly executed, and responsive to patients' needs, this new requirement creates possible benefits for both patient safety and litigation risk management. This paper describes a model for accomplishing these goals that encourages health care providers to communicate more effectively with patients following an adverse event or medical error, learn from mistakes, respond to the concerns of patients and families after an adverse event, and arrive at a fair and cost-effective resolution of valid claims.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Malpractice
  • Medical Errors*
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Negotiating*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Professional Competence
  • Truth Disclosure*