Sunday, April 02, 2006

How to say sorry to a patient


Recognition : knowing when an apology is in order
Read the feelings of the patient and family: Fear, disappointment or, anger?

Regret : responding empathetically
Tell the patient you're sorry for what he's going through
Acknowledge his fear, disappoint, or anger
Remember: an expression of regret is not an admission of guilt or fault

Responsibility : owning up to what's happened
Be accountable for the problem, even if it was unforeseeable
Disclose and explain details that led to the outcome

Remedy : making it right
Explain to the patient what's being done to correct the problem
Let the patient know you will not to abandon him.

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