HEC Forum 31 (3):167-175 (2019)

A general consensus has been reached in health care organizations that the disclosure of medical errors can be a very powerful way to improve patients and physicians well-being and serves as a core component to high quality health care. This practice strongly encourages transparent communication with patients after medical errors or unanticipated outcomes. However, many countries, such as Brazil, do not have a culture of disclosing harmful errors to patients or standards emphasizing the importance of disclosing, taking responsibility, apologizing, and discussing the prevention of recurrences. Medical error is not discussed or approached during medical school. The stigma of error has a strong connection with value judgments, and emotional support for physicians does not exist. This paper suggests that open communication with the patient is essential. Guidance about error disclosure from health care organizations would be helpful for quality and patient safety and for health care professionals in countries like Brazil.
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DOI 10.1007/s10730-018-9362-7
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