Conclusion Part 1

In conclusion, conducting an effective disclosure conversation requires strong communication skills—including the ability to assess and manage the specific needs of the patient and family.

An ideal disclosure process considers and promotes truth and fairness and is consistent with the physician’s philosophy and with malpractice principles. Use the disclosure process in the office setting and become familiar with the process at each hospital. Take the time to adequately prepare for the conversation and bring an objective person into the discussion. Talk with the patient and family as soon as practicable. Be open, honest, and respectful of the patient and family at all times.

An unanticipated outcome does not necessarily equate to negligence. After the details of the event are known, you may find that you have done nothing wrong. And you may have strengthened the physician/patient relationship by establishing good communication and showing compassion.