Document for Physicians to Educate Consumers About Disclosure
At Sorry Works!, we recently launched a campaign to educate patients and families about the value of disclosure. We believe educating consumers about disclosure is just as important as teaching caregivers. And there are many ways to teach consumers, including the all-important first visit with the doctor (or the hospital). You know, over the last few years several hospitals and practices have tried to stem the flow of litigation by suggesting or even requiring new patients & families to sign arbitration or mediation documents. Some of these documents even go a step further by stating the patient/family will not file a "frivolous lawsuit" or post nasty things about the doctor on social media! Often, these documents come off as clumsy, and sometimes these forms can severely damage a new relationship between a doctor and new patient. Imagine how you would feel being asked to sign paperwork that might jeopardize your rights, including the perception that you must sign the document to receive good care? Not good. Not good at all.
I think a better way to start a relationship is by simply reviewing a document with a new patient/family that talks about the relationship you will build together, and 1) your door is always open if they have any problems and 2) you want them to come back to you with any problems. It's a simple yet strong message. It's also how we continue our educational efforts with disclosure. Today, most patients and families believe when something goes wrong in a healthcare setting that the doctors and nurses will clam up. With this document we are sending a different message --- that when something goes wrong the doctors and nurses will remain committed to the relationship, listen, empathize, and fix any problems.
Here is the disclosure education document for physicians we have developed at Sorry Works! --- it's free and yours to use and alter any way you wish.
Finally, when patients and families come back to their doctor with concerns, the docs and staff need to know how to empathize and stay connected. The Little Book of Empathy is a great teaching tool for your docs, nurses, and other front-line staff, and it's available both in hard copy format and as an e-book through Amazon (search for "Doug Wojcieszak" to see this book and all Sorry Works! e-books). Makes a great gift for Doctors' Day --- bulk discounts are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 618-559-8168