Enacting open disclosure in the UK National Health Service

a qualitative exploration

Reema Harrison, Yvonne Birks, Kate Bosanquet, Rick Iedema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Open and honest discussion between healthcare providers and patients and families affected by error is considered to be a central feature of high quality and safer patient care, evidenced by the implementation of open disclosure policies and guidance internationally. This paper discusses the perceived enablers that UK doctors and nurses report as facilitating the enactment of open disclosure. Methods: Semistructured interviews with 13 doctors and 22 nurses from a range of levels and specialities from 5 national health service hospitals and primary care trusts in the UK were conducted and analysed using a framework approach. Results: Five themes were identified which appear to capture the factors that are critical in supporting open disclosure: open disclosure as a moral and professional duty, positive past experiences, perceptions of reduced litigation, role models and guidance, and clarity. Conclusion: Greater openness in relation to adverse events requires health professionals to recognise candour as a professional and moral duty, exemplified in the behaviour of senior clinicians and that seems more likely to occur in a nonpunitive, learning environment. Recognising incident disclosure as part of ongoing respectful and open communication with patients throughout their care is critical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-718
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • adverse events
  • being open
  • hospitals
  • incident disclosure
  • medical error
  • open disclosure

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