Sorry Works!

Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Part II - Interviewing Patients-Families Post-Event

Website: February 13, 2012 Doug Wojcieszak, Founder & Spokesperson Contact phone/e-mail address: 618-559-8168;

PART II - Interviewing Patients-Families Post-Event I received a very, very strong response from last week's newsletter on interviewing patients-families during the investigative process following an adverse event. See below for original newsletter.

Patients, families, and lawyers wrote in. I also spoke with physicians and other healthcare professionals. The response was pretty much the same: Patients and families have information to share during the investigative phase - sometimes a lot of information - and they most definitely need to be interviewed. To do otherwise is not a complete or credible investigation.

My commentators said patients-families are often the only participant (s) who watched every thing unfold and happen. And, yes, physicians even said me to that caregivers can try to minimize the events or facts surrounding an adverse event....and the customer can fill in the holes & gaps. Others said a basic sense of fairness calls out for patient/family to be interviewed during the investigation phase. Everyone deserves to have a say. Finally, everyone agreed that providing a patient/family the chance to share their story and to be legitimately heard is an incredible act of empathy that will defuse anger and lead to quicker (sometimes instant) resolution of cases. Indeed, some people just want to be heard!

So, as we continue to develop and refine our disclosure programs, make interviewing the patient/family a part of the process. Book 'em, Dano!

Final point: What if the patient or family does NOT want to be interviewed? Maybe they are so angry or so grief-stricken they don't want to talk with you? Try to make a contact a few times, see if you can find a spokesperson for the family, and see if they will speak. If not, at least document your attempts. No one can say you didn't try!

For help on developing your disclosure program including Sorry Works! presentations for Grand Rounds and other staff talks, call 618-559-8168 or e-mail