Disclosure Communication


As part of the patient safety curricula, residents participate in a simulated exercise using standardized patients to practice disclosure communication skills.  The goal of this exercise is to educate residents on what patients expect from providers when things do not go as planned and how these events should be handled from a humanistic, patient-centered standpoint. Residents have the opportunity to practice in a safe environment while learning from facilitated debrief and self-reflection.

Similar to the format of an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) residents review a hypothetical case where a clear error has occurred in the delivery of care of their patient. The resident then role plays a conversation with a standardized patient admitting the error, apologizing and assuming full accountability.  Residents perform the exercise twice so that they have an opportunity to reflect and improve upon their skills from the baseline case to the re-measurement case. The exercises are videotaped and residents have an opportunity to review their communication skills at a later time with their residency program advisor.


At the end of the disclosure communication session residents will have demonstrated:

  1. Empathy
  2. The ability to assume accountability
  3. The ability to give a sincere apology
  4. Be open and honest with all statements
  5. Ensure the patient and their family knows they will have an opportunity to be part of the system improvement to ensure the error does not happen again in the future.


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