Few Hospitals Have Best-Practice Policies for Questions, Complaints Related to Patient Deaths or Medical Incidents
While deaths occur daily at most hospitals, few hospitals have implemented best practices for handling related questions and complaints from caregivers and family members. For many years, providers have been advised against reaching out or apologizing after a medical incident. There are concerns that such comments could be used in a lawsuit and could result in the provider being viewed as incompetent. However, surveys have found that there is a significantly higher likelihood that patients and their families will pursue legal action when they perceive a lack of accountability, disrespect or poor communication from providers.
- "Hospitals Slow To Adopt Patient Apology Policies" (Rice, Modern Healthcare, 8/15).