Including patients in root cause and system failure analysis: legal and psychological implications

J Healthc Risk Manag. 2007;27(2):27-34. doi: 10.1002/jhrm.5600270206.


The act of open disclosure of an adverse event alone may not be enough for patients or their families. Patients and patient advocates are asking for increased transparency and a greater role in the process of change. When properly handled, involving patients in post-event analysis allows risk management professionals to further improve their organization's systems analysis process while empowering patients to be part of the solution. This article examines the legal and psychological considerations surrounding the involvement of patients in system failure analysis and provides tools for selecting patients who are able to benefit from this process and for adequately preparing patients and caregivers for what lies ahead.

MeSH terms

  • Disclosure* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Liability, Legal
  • Patient Participation* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Patient Participation* / psychology
  • Risk Management*
  • Systems Analysis*