Saturday, December 10, 2005

Medical errors: why apologies are important

"Once in the hospital, I was given another patient's medications by accident. I was angry when I found out. I didn't suffer any serious problems because of it, but I wanted to know if the person even cared that this had happened. I will tell you that when the nurse came into my room soley to apologize to me, my anger was gone. I just needed to know that the person was sorry and that they recognized the magnitude of it. I told the nurse how much I appreciated that he told me the truth and that I thought it took a lot of guts to do that. If I had never received an apology I still would not have sued, but I might have reported it. I needed to know someone took that seriously. Mistakes happen, doctors make mistakes, nurses make mistakes, and patients make mistakes. But showing sincere regret when a mistake occurs is so important."
-from the comments to this post.


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