Practicalities of Open Disclosure
Arranging Open Disclosure Discussions
When arranging open disclosure discussions, health care facilities and health care staff have a responsibility to create an environment that supports open and effective communication. This includes working with the patient and/or the patient's family, carers and other support persons (as well as people who understand the patient's communication needs, if necessary) to determine the best way to communicate.
Managers are responsible for noting in the patient's current health record and the IMS that an open disclosure discussion has occurred - clinician disclosure and, where required, formal open disclosure. Documentation should be clear, concise and legible, and include only facts relevant to the incident.
When a patient has been involved in a patient safety incident, actual or potential financial impacts should be discussed, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. This includes consideration of an early offer of reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Health services are required by legislation to protect the privacy of patients, health care staff and others during open disclosure discussions. Staff participating in open disclosure must be aware of and adhere to the relevant privacy principles and other obligations of confidentiality during open disclosure, including when a patient does not have 'capacity' and disclosure on compassionate grounds.