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The Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice (IPEP) and OPENPediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital recently launched a new, open access online course designed to help clinicians prepare for Disclosure and Apology conversations with patients and families after medical errors and adverse events. Speaking with patients or their families after a medical error or adverse event is one of the most difficult conversations a clinician can have. Yet most clinicians have little or no training for these conversations. Project Leader, Donna Luff, PhD says “the aim of the course is to “help clinicians better prepare for disclosure and apology conversations, and to seek the appropriate support in these challenging situations.” She continues: “as the course is online, it is accessible to clinicians anywhere and we hope it will offer them the tools, skills, and practice to conduct these difficult conversations with confidence and compassion.”

The course is designed for physicians, nurses, social workers, and other providers, nationally and globally, who work closely with patients and their families. It includes educational media presentations and exercises, powerful personal stories from patients, families, and clinicians about their experiences of medical error, as well as downloadable guides and resources. MACRMI members Kenneth Sands and Patricia Folcarelli contributed to the videos in the course  as expert speakers. 

The course is organized into three parts. Parts I and III are self-paced and can be completed on-line by learners at any time. Part II offers a unique opportunity to participate in an interactive, moderated online workshop guided by expert faculty. In the workshop, participants engage with faculty in exercises and discussions, including watching and responding to a filmed enactment of a disclosure and apology conversation.

Registration is open for the next moderated online workshop to be held on Wednesday June 29th, 10:00am-12:00pm, EDT. The workshop will be led by renowned faculty experts in communication on disclosure and apology:

  • Jo Shapiro, MD, Director, Center for Professionalism and Peer Support, and Division Chief, Otolaryngology, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
  • David Browning, M.S.W., B.C.D., F.T., Senior Scholar and Co-Founder, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital.

 For more information and to register, please visit the project webpage here


 Blog Contributed by Donna Luff.

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