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Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Hotline Numbers on Back of Bathroom Stall Doors

During recent disclosure training seminars, I repeatedly heard from experienced, seasoned doctors that not only do they not have any idea what to say to families post-event, they also have no idea who to call for help when something goes wrong. Of course, the risk manager sitting two rows over is pulling his/her hair out because they have told the medical staff 20 times to call their office when something goes wrong, but the message wasn't received or remembered. So, docs and nurses don't communicate with anyone post-event and the situation quickly becomes a legal train wreck. At Sorry Works!, we continually coach hospitals and insurers that they really need to promote disclosure among their clinicians. It's not enough to say "We do disclosure" but you have to teach disclosure to your front-line staff and then keep disclosure top of the mind among your doctors and nurses (as well as new hires down the road). One way this is done is to publicize and promote your hotline number to let docs and nurses know there is a place/person to call when things go wrong. A surgeon in a recent disclosure training seminar shared this idea about promoting hotline numbers which was priceless:

"Put the hotline number on the back of the bathroom stall doors. When I sit on the can that is the only five or six minutes of my day where things are totally quiet and I'm not being bombarded by people or information. And all I am looking at is the back of a grey door...so put the hotline number on there. I'll see it every day and remember it."

The surgeon also suggested that small cards or pamphlets with information about disclosure (including the hotline number) be left in discreet places where physicians and nurses can quickly and confidentially grab them and stuff in their pockets. This is why Sorry Works! created "Pocket Notes" and the "Little Book of Empathy"...both are small, quick reads that can be customized to include your hotline numbers. Order your copies today!

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