Can Communication-And-Resolution Programs Achieve Their Potential? Five Key Questions
Communication-and-resolution programs (CRPs) are intended to promote accountability, transparency, and learning after adverse events. In this article we address five key challenges to the programs’ future success: implementation fidelity, the evidence base for CRPs and their link to patient safety, fair compensation of harmed patients, alignment of CRP design with participants’ needs, and public policy on CRPs. While the field has arrived at an understanding of the core communication-and-resolution practices, limited adherence fuels skepticism that programs are meeting the needs of patients and families who have been injured by care or improving patient safety. Adherence to communication-and-resolution practices could be enhanced by adopting measures of CRP quality and implementing programs in a comprehensive, principled, and systematic manner. Of particular importance is offering fair compensation to patients in CRPs and supporting their right to attorney representation. There is evidence that the use of CRPs reduces liability costs, but research on other outcomes is limited. Additional research is especially needed on the links between CRPs and quality and on the programs’ alignment with patients’ and families’ needs. By honoring principles of transparency, quality improvement, and patient and family empowerment, organizations can use their CRPs to help revitalize the medical profession.
Thomas H. Gallagher, Michelle M. Mello, William M. Sage, Sigall K. Bell, Timothy B. McDonald & Eric J. Thomas,
Can Communication-And-Resolution Programs Achieve Their Potential? Five Key Questions,
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