Responding Effectively to Adverse Events

The REACT approach to disclosure and apology

Darren Bouwmeester, JD

Sharing bad news is never easy. And although most physicians understand that it’s the right thing to do, disclosing an adverse medical event to a patient can be especially difficult. However, when an adverse event occurs, patients want to understand what happened and why, and they expect open communication, honesty, and empathy from their providers. For patients, professional competence in health care isn’t just about clinical skill, it’s also about integrity and caring.

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