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What Is Your Advice for Providers about Communicating with Patients After Adverse Events?

Helen Haskell, MA; mother of Lewis Blackman, a 15-year-old boy who died from medical error; President of Mothers Against Medical Error; member of the IHI Board of Directors

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

This is the final video in a 4-part series. Click the links on the left side of this page if you missed any of the previous videos.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the different reactions families may have to providers involved in adverse events.
  • Explain why it’s important to be available to patients and families no matter their reaction.

Description: Lewis Blackman, a healthy 15-year-old boy, died in 2000 after an elective surgery. In this video, Helen Haskell, his mother, offers advice for providers who are involved in adverse events about how they should communicate with patients and families.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think some patients and families don’t want to talk to doctors who were involved in an adverse event?
  2. Haskell says that providers should accept their responsibility for being at fault in an adverse event. What do you think makes it easier or harder for providers to do this?
  3. If you or your family member suffered from an adverse event, what would you want the doctor to do?
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