Medical Disadvantage

ESSAY OPTION 1 – Open Disclosure Essay

Clinical misadventures can be related to any part of the health consumer journey in the health system.  A clinical misadventure can be any injury or adverse reaction resulting from any treatment. Medical misadventure is increasingly being highlighted as a growing problem with many thousands of deaths being attributed to medical errors. Lawsuits related to medical misadventure is also increasing.  According to Bismark and Paterson (2005), “a patient’s decision to take legal action or complain against a health practitioner may be prompted by perceived insensitive handling, poor communication or delay after an adverse clinical incident. Often, the focus of patients’ hurt and anger is not the injury itself, but the failure of a health professional do the right thing’ in the aftermath of the event”.  There are concerns from clinicians, however, that open disclosure may increase the likelihood of a lawsuit particularly relating to having to make an apology to the patient and family.  You have been asked by your Chief Executive Officer to review the procedure for Open Disclosure when patient misadventures occur.  These clinical misadventures can be caused by human error, technical problems with clinical equipment or lack of timeliness, accuracy, appropriateness, the effectiveness of care (amongst other things).


Some of the types of clinical misadventures can be related to:

  • Medication errors
  •  Procedural errors
  • Surgical complications
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Nosocomial infections
  • Falls and slips

You are required to write an ESSAY  to covering ALL of the following:

  1. The reasons why open disclosure is important and whether or not it should be a mandatory practice;
  2. The information about Open Disclosure that is given to all consumers when they are provided with a health service;
  3. Information that is provided to clinical staff about Open Disclosure;
  4. The level of managerial involvement in the Open Disclosure process;
  5. The type of managerial assistance that is required to support the Open Disclosure Process
  6. The type of information that should be provided to health care consumers in the open disclosure process when a clinical misadventure has occurred;
  7. Medico-legal and ethical considerations in the Open Disclosure process (such as disclosing when there is no evidence of harm and disclosing when there is evidence of harm);
  8. The rights AND responsibilities of clinical staff involved when an adverse event occurs and the open disclosure process is initiated
  9. An outline of the proposed open disclosure process including critical success factors when an Open Disclosure process has been implemented
  10. Recommendations (based on the evidence collected for the above sections) for policy development for Open Disclosure processes

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