Disclosure is the process by which a patient safety incident is communicated to the patient (or a group of patients, the public) by healthcare providers. The NSHA Disclosure Policy provides coordinated processes for disclosure of patient safety incidents to patients, their families and/or substitute decision makers with the goals to make improvements and to limit or prevent the recurrence of patient safety incidents. An NSHA policy outlines the process for timely disclosure of patient safety incidents. The Ethics-Informed Decision Making Framework for Disclosure is enacted for patient safety incidents which affect or potentially affect: more than one or a group of patients; is perceived as a public health hazard; has potential to undermine public confidence in the health system; and/or in instances where consensus cannot be reached as to the appropriateness of disclosure. When such complex questions about disclosure arise, the NSHA decision making framework for disclosure is activated. Possible disclosure options include non-disclosure, disclosure to the affected and/or potentially affect and external disclosure to other health organizations and/or the public. In these situations, relevant stakeholders and resource persons form a disclosure working group. The disclosure working group includes physicians, interdisciplinary health care providers, expert resource persons (e.g. infectious diseases), quality, ethics, patient family advisors (PFAs), legal representative, and communications. The PFA is a member of the decision making working group for disclosure. The PFA participates fully in this process, brings the patient and family perspective and is an equal voting member to determine the recommendation from the working group.
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