|CLEAR program offers disclosure and apology|
About five years ago, evidence emerged that disclosure and apologies in the face of unexpected clinical outcomes can help patients, families and clinicians heal. YNHHS developed a working group called Responding to Unexpected Clinical Outcomes (RUCO) with representation from Bridgeport, Greenwich and Yale-New Haven hospitals, Yale School of Medicine, Northeast Medical Group, nursing and MCIC, YNHHS’ malpractice insurance company. The group looked at best practices at other academic medical centers and developed a new program called CLEAR – Communication Leads to Early Resolution.
CLEAR offers resources for clinicians who have a patient with an unexpected outcome – how to approach patient or family, what to say, and an understanding of why disclosure and an apology is generally the right action. Using the YNHHS SYN:APSE simulation training center, more than 60 hospitalbased “disclosure coaches” – primarily physicians and some nurses – have been trained throughout the system to assist clinicians in these conversations.
If a member of the Medical Staff needs help, information about the CLEAR program (Disclosure/Apology) is posted on the Legal and Risk Services page of the YNHHS intranet. Go to the YNHHS intranet, click on departments/Legal and Risk Services/FAQs or visit www.ynhhs.org/legal-guidelines and you will find several CLEAR-related resources, including a list of disclosure coaches’ names and a PDF handout about the CLEAR program. You can also call YNHHS Legal and Risk Services at (203) 688-2291 for help or with questions.