The nature and consequences of patient and family emotional harm stemming from preventable medical error, such as losing a loved one or surviving serious medical injury, is poorly understood. Patients and families, clinicians, social scientists, lawyers, and foundation/policy leaders were brought together to establish research priorities for this issue.
I recommend that all those involved in 'engagement with harmed patients and families' read this and in particular, commit to making sure they are doing the '20 things organisations can do now' that is listed in table 3.
This paper was published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Register for free to view the full article.
Emotional and other long-term impacts of harmful events can have profound consequences for patients and families. Stakeholders designed a path forward to inform approaches that better support harmed patients and families, with both immediately actionable and longer-term research strategies.
'[There's the] long-term responsibility of the institution, that we don't talk about....If we [had] some sort of [understanding of the] trajectory of the harm, [we could ask] What roles do institutions play at different parts? [What roles] should they play?'