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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 60(5); 2017 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2017;60(5):417-427.
Published online May 29, 2017.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2017.60.5.417   
Disclosure of patient safety incidents: implications from ethical and quality of care perspectives
Minsu Ock, Sang Il Lee
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sleemd@amc.seoul.kr
Abstract
In order to improve patient safety, it is important to manage and respond to patient safety incidents that have already occurred. Disclosure of patient safety incidents (DPSI) can be regarded as a prudent strategy, as it has the potential to decrease the number of medical disputes in advance. DPSI is defined as follows: “When a patient safety incident occurs, medical professionals preemptively explain the incident to the patients and their caregivers, express sympathy and regret for the incident, deliver apology and compensation appropriately if needed, and promise to prevent recurrence.” Although DPSI is known to be effective for reducing the number of medical lawsuits, it can be also viewed as reflecting important ethical and quality of care issues. In particular, medical professionals have an ethical imperative to conduct DPSI with the patient, if patient safety incidents have occurred. In this paper, we review the necessity of DPSI from ethical and quality of care perspectives. The ethical basis of DPSI includes autonomy, transparency, trust, and professional standards. Furthermore, DPSI will become inevitable as society comes to emphasize safer and more patient-centered care. In order to make DPSI a routine practice in South Korea, various efforts, such as the development of DPSI guidelines and educational programs, as well as the introduction of an apology law, will be required.
Key Words: Disclosure of patient safety incidents, Patient safety, Patient safety incident, Communication
 


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