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Open disclosure was introduced by the Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Healthcare (the Commission) which is a process of open communication with a patient, and or their family support person, following an adverse or unexpected event that may or may not result in harm to the patient.

The open disclosure process provides an ethical framework for ensuring that staff inform patients, and where applicable their support person, in an open, honest and empathetic manner about a patient related incident and its implications for the health care of those patients.

The Open Disclosure Framework provides principles to address the interests of patients, support persons, staff and other key stakeholder groups.

These Include:

  • Openness and timeliness of communication

  • Acknowledgement of the incidents

  • Expression of regret/apology

  • Recognition of the reasonable expectations of the patient and their support person

  • Staff need for support

  • Confidentiality

For more information, download a copy of the full Open Disclosure document produced by the Commission.  

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