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June 6, 2005

Training Video Helps Doctors Apologize for Medical Mistakes

Clinicians have an ethical duty to disclose to patients and their family members any adverse events that occur during care. However, little training is available to help physicians with disclosing such information, which is always difficult, and sometimes results in legal action against a clinician or institution. Removing Insult from Injury: Disclosing Adverse Events is an instructional video developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to help health care providers find the best ways to disclose adverse events. The 25-minute training video and accompanying text take clinicians through a series of simulated cases involving medical errors. The Hopkins researchers believe the video could be a useful tool for promoting dialogue between risk managers and health care providers regarding adverse events in medical care.

“There is now broad, if grudging, agreement that physicians and hospitals are obligated to tell patients about adverse events. Fortunately, disclosure is a skill that we can learn to do better,” said the video’s developer, Albert Wu, MD, MPH, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We hope that this video will help.”

Removing Insult from Injury comes in both DVD and CD formats. A Facilitator Guide is included, which provides recommendations on how to use the materials as well as additional information regarding the disclosure of adverse events, the script for the videos and example disclosures and an extensive bibliography of supporting materials. Along with the video, the CD also includes a PDF version of the Facilitator Guide and six example disclosure discussions.

The video can be ordered. Institutional licenses are also available, which allows an organization to post the video on it website.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.