We're here for you—our responsive team can help you evaluate, communicate and resolve adverse events
When something bad happens, you may not always know how or why it happened, but you may sense it’s important for the patient to be informed. Contact us and let us help you take action to mitigate the impact of unanticipated events, adverse outcomes or medical errors.
We can help you evaluate the situation, coach you on communication—and apology if needed—plus offer tips, tools and action plans to help you more effectively resolve the issue.
Perhaps a piece of equipment malfunctioned, a wrong procedure was performed, or test results were missed, significantly delaying a time-sensitive diagnosis. We are all human, after all, and the great work of medicine is not without its challenges and risks.
We’re here to help you evaluate what happened, to determine if a root cause analysis or event investigation is needed, and to help assess the probability of a claim. Sharing findings with your organization is a key next step to help you learn from the event and help prevent it recurring in the future.
In essence, we help you sort out what happened so you can address it, and then we help you find ways to prevent similar issues in the future.
We help you talk to your physicians and other clinicians on how to share sensitive information with clarity, transparency, and compassion. We want you to feel prepared, confident yet thoughtful, and non-defensive when you answer questions or have conversations about the event. It’s important to address these events in a timely and responsible manner; you may receive questions internally and from patients and family.
If the investigation or analysis reveals that the standard of care was not met and harm to a patient resulted, it’s important to promptly talk to patients and families about next steps, provide them with the support they need, and keep them in the loop until the situation is resolved. We can work with you to help you prepare for these critical conversations.
Apology and communication
Mistakes are an inevitable reality of being human, and the way health care clinicians and staff approach and handle these mistakes is fundamental to maintaining respectful, trusting and open relationships with patients.
If appropriate for your situation, we can coach you on the best ways to apologize and have conversations with those who potentially have been harmed. An apology of regret can be a powerful and essential component in the healing process for patients, families and clinicians alike. The goal is to do the right thing so that all parties feel good about how the situation was handled. Thus, the devastation is minimized, as much as possible, and healing can begin for all involved.
At MMIC, we believe that by working together, and communicating openly and honestly, we can learn from our mistakes and provide better health care for all.
If it is determined that media is or may potentially get involved, we can help you get a referral to our crisis communication experts.
If relevant, we can help identify situations in which expert human resource (HR) consultation is needed. Through an arrangement with WJ Flynn and Associates, LLC, we offer our policyholders two free hours of HR consulting when risk management issues include employees.
Perhaps you need to bolster your informed consent process? Maybe a machine or tool you use regularly is not working properly and needs to be sidelined and examined. Or there could be a team culture or communication issue that underlies the event and needs to be transformed. Whatever the situation is, we’re here to take action to help you improve your processes, bolster your documentation, improve team communication, offer best practices and more. Our goals are to help you become proactive, improve your patient safety efforts, and minimize risks to you, your teams, or your organization wherever possible.
Follow up with your patients and families
Adequate resolution is important for all parties involved. Even if your adverse event doesn’t lead to a claim, it’s important to take the time to gain closure from your patient and their family, and to help them heal, both physically and emotionally. We can work with you, your patient advocate or other internal staff, to help you communicate next steps, support the patient and family as needed, and keep them updated about follow-up care. Often, the most important thing to an injured patient is the reassurance that you’ll work to prevent this from happening again.
Include a healthy dose of physician wellbeing
Being involved in an adverse event can be a stressful, sometimes debilitating, event. You and your clinicians may become depressed, disconnected, or filled with shame and doubt. Burnout is on the rise, and it can lead to reduced productivity and decreased patient safety—our WellBeing Center is available to policyholders any time, and houses a wealth of resources, events, tips and assessments to help you stay healthy and grounded in your personal and professional goals.
Risk and Patient Safety
“The sooner you call us, the sooner we can help. When you feel an adverse event might result in future similar events, or potentially a claim, don’t wait to call. No question or situation is too small.”
Kristi Y. Eldredge, RN, JD, CPHRM
Sr. Risk and Patient Safety Consultant
Risk and Patient Safety Team