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Open disclosure – what to expect if you experience harm during health care?

What is open disclosure?
Every day thousands of people receive health care. Sometimes things go wrong which cause unintentional harm to you or someone you care for. In health care, this is known as an incident. Your healthcare provider (such as a doctor or nurse) should talk with you about it as soon as possible.

Open disclosure is the discussion with you, your healthcare provider and the people you may choose to support you (such as your family, carer or friend) about an incident that caused harm whilst receiving health care.

Open disclosure includes:

  • Apologising to you for what went wrong
  • Explaining the known facts
  • Listening to your experience
  • Explaining how it may affect you and your care
  • Explaining the steps being taken to prevent it happening again.

Open disclosure can take place over one or more discussions.

Click on the link below to download information for consumers and carers from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.