Forum Session

When There's Harm in the Hospital: Can Transparency Replace "Deny and Defend"?
March 11, 2016


Lisa Sprague, MBA


Transparency is a steady theme in calls to improve the health care system: patients should know what might, will, and has happened—even when the news is not good. Particularly challenging for providers is transparency when an unexpected adverse event occurs. Where a lawsuit is a possibility, standard hospital response has long been to "deny and defend." Some hospital leaders have embraced a new model, the communication-and-response program (CRP). This approach seeks to investigate adverse events, tell patients and families what happened, offer appropriate compensation, and take corrective action. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality sponsored a CRP demonstration (known as Communication and Optimal Resolution, or CANDOR) in 14 hospitals around the country. This Forum session explored the development of the CRP, its rewards and challenges, and how it is viewed by various stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, and attorneys.


Richard Boothman, JD (bio)
Executive Director of Clinical Safety
Chief Risk Officer
University of Michigan Health System (UMHS)

Susan Scott, RN, PhD (bio)
Manager of Patient Safety and Risk Management
University of Missouri Health Care System

David Mayer, MD (bio)
Vice President of Quality and Safety
MedStar Health (Columbia, MD)

Jeffrey Catalano, JD (bio)
Todd & Weld
Slides: set 1 & set 2

Helen Haskell, MA (bio)
Consumers Advancing Patient Safety
Mothers Against Medical Error

Related Materials

See the Health Affairs article by William M. Sage et al., "How Policy Makers Can Smooth the Way for Communication-and-Resolution" (January 2014).

↑ back to top

Browse Topics Side ArrowDown Arrow