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Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Hospital's Apology Apparently Doesn't Go Far Enough

According to news reports, a 90-year old woman was transported to a Canadian hospital for leg pain related to her high blood pressure, was cleared three hours later by the doctors, and sent home @ 230AM via cab in her pajamas without supervision.  The 90-year old woman and her daughter were furious, so the daughter contacted the hospital. Now, get this, the hospital CEO apologized to the daughter but, according to the media, didn't admit fault and the family doesn't believe the hospital system has changed their ways.  The daughter told the local TV station that she believes the hospital would do the same thing again.  The hospital refused to talk on camera with the media and instead issued a written statement saying the conduct of their staff was appropriate.

I think this is one of those teachable moments because more and more healthcare professionals are getting comfortable with saying "sorry" after something goes wrong, but apology is more than just words.  If there truly was a mistake you have to own it.  Moreover, you have to show your sincerity with your actions and deeds going forward.  Not only do you have to make the mistake right, but also show it will not happen again.  These are the needed actions for people who have been wronged to get past their anger and move on with their lives.

Here's the story.  The clincher for me was the hospital not talking on camera.  Judge for yourself.

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