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Feb. 22, 2024

Apologizing Still Works, But Ensure It Is Done Correctly

By Alexandra P. Moylan, Esq., CIPP/US

Healthcare Risk Management

In an article published on February 1, in Healthcare Risk Management, Alexandra Moylan, partner at Nelson Mullins, discusses legal requirements healthcare providers must know when apologizing to families.

“Some states require disclosure to patients and/or their families of certain information following medical errors,” Moylan says. “State laws also differ in terms of the protections afforded to apologies and disclosures of medical errors if litigation ensues following an adverse event. Additionally, hospitals and healthcare systems often have disclosure programs or policies that guide what happens after an adverse event.”

When talking to patients about a mistake, she says, “It may not be possible to explain exactly what happened or why an adverse event happened initially. It is OK to acknowledge that and tell the patient and family that the hospital is investigating. Healthcare organizations are committed to patient safety and quality care, and informing the patient or their family that the event occurred is likely the first step in a process.”

To read the full article, click here.