Patients and relatives

When an adverse event (AE) occurs, and a patient or a group of patients inevitably suffer harm as a consequence of the health intervention they were subjected to, they not only require medical attention to alleviate the negative effect, but also clear, honest, and rapid information about what happened, why it happened, and how it can be avoided in the future. They need to know what happened them, what the resulting consequences may be, and what measures have been adopted to resolve the situation. This situation is always difficult for patients, but it is also difficult for the professionals, who are equally surprised. Providing the patient with frank and honest information requires training and expertise by the professional. In this project, we also address how to help professionals and patients so this communication is successful.


Rights of patient victims of an adverse event to be informed about what happened (their family members as well) and to receive an apology

Patients and their family members have a right to informed, and they want to be informed about unexpected and unwanted health outcomes they experience because of healthcare received. A sincere apology alleviates the emotional distress caused by the adverse event in the patient and it helps to preserve the relationship with the healthcare professionals. Frank communication about adverse events with patients presents challenges and unknowns that must be addressed by taking into account the legal framework of each country and the policies of each health organization or system. The following paper summarizes the key elements that must be included in a disclosure conservation in addition to the most appropriate manner to offer an apology to the patient and his family taking in to account the Spanish context.

Mira JJ, Romeo Casabona CM, Astier MP, Urruela Mora A, Carrillo I, Lorenzo S, et al. Si ocurrió un evento adverso piense en decir "lo siento" . An Sist Sanit Navar. 2017;40:279-90.