Introduction to Open Disclosure

Open Disclosure Summary

Open disclosure has been shown to be critically important for patients and carers following an adverse event.  Patients may experience a range of physical and emotional trauma and harm following a serious adverse event. 

Open disclosure can have a powerful effect in healing and restoring trust if the harm is fully acknowledgedIt is also the legal right of every patient and their family to have full disclosure of adverse events.

Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, 2006

As a clinician, it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the Australian Open Disclosure Framework (2013) and policies within your organisation.

Following an adverse event, it is important to:

  1. Ensure the patient and/or staff member are safe.

  2. Report the incident to the person in charge of the area.

  3. Report the incident in the risk or incident management system.

  4. Notify the patient’s doctor to determine if additional orders are required.

  5. Notify the patient’s family members that an incident has occurred

  6. Explain what has happened and what has been done in relation to the event.