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Worcester Business Journal: Disclosure & Apology Skills Program

iCELS-WBJ-Pugnaire-Disclosure-Apology-Skill- 1600x500.jpgWORCESTER, Massachusetts, Apr 1, 2015 - Worcester Business Journal introduces iCELS Disclosure & Apology (D&A) Skills Program in its feature article “How to say ‘sorry’ to a patient”, written by Michele P. Pugnaire, MD.

Acknowledging that it is not easy for health care providers to disclose a medical mistake or apologize for it, Dr. Pugnaire recognizes the range of emotion experienced by patients and their families, as well as providers who may be consumed in negative feelings related to the incidence.

In 2012, Massachusetts adopted its new Disclosure, Apology and Offer
Law, M.G.L. c.231, §60L, which was intended to shift how physicians and
hospitals deal with unanticipated outcomes and errors that involve patients.
Among its provisions, this law includes a mechanism for harmed parties
to communicate directly with licensed practitioners and hospitals and
provide the facts and how they believe they were harmed prior to filing
a claim or lawsuit. Once this occurs, practitioners and/or hospitals must
respond within 150 days.

Recognizing a need in the medical community to get familiarized with communicating under such circumstances, the UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care developed a Disclosure and Apology (D&A) skills program for health care providers.

Following a successful pilot in 2014, iCELS now offers a simulation based course in how health care providers may offer apology to patients. The highly interactive course showcases patient actors, as known as Standardized Patients (SPs) who are highly trained to carry our authentic scenarios. SPs emotionally react to bad news (of an error) delivered by a clinician. An important step that follows is the expert faculty debrief to prepare learners on how to react and communicate with patients and colleagues should a real life event occur.

Michele P. Pugnaire, MD, is a professor of family medicine & community health and medicine, as well as senior associate dean for educational affairs and executive director of iCELS.

The Worcester Business Journal is a subscription-based business publication that reaches 26,000 key business owners and decision makers in the Central Massachusetts/MetroWest region every two weeks. Its mailing list consists of presidents, CEOs and senior managers; and its online version draws more than 95,000 unique visitors per month.


The article is published in page 23 of the Spring 2015 Edition of Worcester Business JournalPlease click here to read the article in Worcester Business Journal


Last updated June 30th, 2015

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