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Why Should Providers Talk to 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 first video in a 4-part series. Click here for part two.

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

  • Explain why communication after adverse events is a professional obligation.
  • Discuss the impact of silence on patients and families who suffer adverse events.

Description: Lewis Blackman, a healthy 15-year-old boy, died in 2000 after an elective surgery. In this video, Helen Haskell, his mother, explains why providers should communicate with patients and families after adverse events.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you agree that providers have a professional obligation to communicate with patients and families after adverse events?
  2. Why do you think it’s difficult for providers to speak with patients and families about things that go wrong?
  3. Haskell defines health care professionals as people who put the interests of their patients above their own. How do you define a health care professional?
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