“Transparency—the free, uninhibited sharing of information—is probably the most important single attribute of a culture of safety. In complex, tightly coupled systems like healthcare, transparency is a precondition to safety. Its absence inhibits learning from mistakes, distorts collegiality and erodes patient trust.” (Leape, et al. 2009)
In the main article on transparency, we discuss the five targets of transparency: patients, coworkers, the organization, other organizations, and the public. For each of these targets, there are specific practices that maximize the benefit to patients, providers and other stakeholders, and we will discuss these in this and future articles. This article’s focus is the patient.
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.