Discussing Adverse Outcomes with Patients and Families

Rachel Bluebond-Langner, Eduardo D. Rodriguez, Albert W. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Complications and undesired outcomes happen to some patients of virtually all physicians, at all stages in their careers. Bad outcomes can be a consequence of disease processes, the premorbid condition of the patient, or the errors that occur in the process of health care. These errors include, but are by no means confined to, surgeon error. Regardless of the reason for the bad outcome, the surgeon is obligated to discuss the event with the patient and the family. This article reviews the benefits, barriers, and legal implications of the discussion and describes the disclosure process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-479
Number of pages9
JournalOral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Adverse event
  • Apology
  • Disclosure
  • Near miss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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