Transparency: patients, coworkers, broadly within organization, other organizations, public.

Each type of transparency has its subject matter and its goals. For each of these, there are specific practices that will maximize the benefit to patients, providers and other stakeholders. The Hospital Quality Institute and CHPSO can help.

Patients: It is a moral imperative to inform patients when they are harmed, even when harm is minor or accidental.

Coworkers: Individuals must be able to report errors without fear of punishment or embarrassment.

Within the organization: Each problem should be seen as having the potential to make the entire organization safer.

Other organizations: Organizations should not let other patients be harmed when they know how to prevent it.

Public: The public spends over two trillion dollars annually on health care and trusts their lives to us—they deserve to know how well we are doing.

For more information, see Leape, Lucian L., et al. “Transforming healthcare: a safety imperative.” BMJ Quality & Safety, 2009: 424–428.