To test whether an educational model involving patients and family members (P/F) in medical error disclosure training for interprofessional clinicians can narrow existing gaps between clinician and P/F views about disclosure.
Parallel presurveys/postsurveys using Likert scale questions for clinicians and P/F.
Baseline surveys were completed by 91% (50/55) of clinicians who attended the workshops and 74% (65/88) of P/F from a hospital patient and family advisory council. P/F’s baseline views about disclosure were significantly different from clinicians’ in 70% (7/10) of the disclosure expectation items and 100% (3/3) of the disclosure vignette items. For example, compared with clinicians, P/F more strongly agreed that “patients want to know all the details of what happened” and more strongly disagreed that “patients find explanation(s) more confusing than helpful.” In the medication error vignette, compared with clinicians, P/F more strongly agreed that the error should be disclosed and that the patient would want to know and more strongly disagreed that disclosure would do more harm than good (all P < 0.05). After the workshop, P/F and clinician views about information sharing, fallibility, truth telling, and threshold for disclosure showed greater concordance, with significant differences remaining in less than half of the expectation items and none of the vignette responses.
Even with self-selecting clinicians, collaborative learning with P/F highlights important differences in patient and clinician baseline perspectives about medical error disclosure and brings patient and clinicians views closer together.