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Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Family Won't Agree with Review After Event

The following practice case is taken from the Sorry Works! Tool Kit Book...please share with your colleagues and staff.

"Prior to his hospitalization, Tom was very active, enjoyed fishing and hunting, golfing with his buddies, and he was always playing with his grandchildren (including the Sunday afternoon before he entered the hospital).  Unfortunately, on Monday morning, Tom fell off a ladder, suffered a concussion and many broken bones, and he was admitted to the hospital where his health deteriorated due to a series of complications, including a stroke.  He died after 14 days. Tom's family was grief stricken, angry, and full of questions. They even threatened legal action.

The hospital staff empathized, met immediate needs, promised a review, and worked to stay connected with the family.  One of the doctors and two of the nurses attended the funeral, which many family members appreciated.  The CEO even sent a sympathy card to Tom's wife.  Leadership and clinicians stayed in touch with the family throughout the review process, and even interviewed several family members to get their perspective.  The review, which included an outside expert, showed the standard of care was NOT breached and Tom simply died in spite of the best efforts of the staff.

You schedule a disclosure meeting with the son and daughter, but they do not believe the review...

'But dad was playing with his grandchildren the day before the accident...can't you people fix broken bones?  Dad should be home with us!'

You try to explain several times, but the son and daughter will hear none of it, their anger increases, and they are now again threatening legal action.  What do you say?  Where does the conversation go from here?   How do you agree to disagree?"

So, what would you do?  Not do?  How would you and your team handle this scenario?  This practice case and many other cases along with a wealth of information are available in the Sorry Works! Tool Kit. Order your copy today!


- Doug

Doug Wojcieszak, Founder

Doug Wojcieszak