When you make a mistake or things don't go quite the way you planned, the normal response is an apology and or an offer to make restitution. That is the basic concept behind a new proposal being presented by several hospitals in the Boston area. The new procedure, called, Disclosure, Apology, Offer is being initiated by the Massachusetts Medical Society and they are being joined by 7 area hospitals. In the first phase of the initiative, when an error occurs, the patient or their family will be informed about exactly what took place, and if found to be appropriate, a formal apology would be given. The final proponent of the initiative would be to offer financial restitution for the incident and thereby avoid the enormous cost of attorney's, investigations, and other litigation expenses.
According to a report, nearly 80% of the errors committed in hospitals are not reported for fear of being sued or reprimanded. The initiative's supporters allegedly feel that most patients want the truth, they want it as quickly as possible and they want to be assured that those medical providers involved, will take measures to see that is doesn't happen again.