Ohio Surgical errors occur on a regular basis. Why did the surgery fail? Why did the patient die? Why has recovery following the surgery taken so very long? Why was a foreign object left behind? WHY ISN’T ANYONE EXPLAINING TO ME WHAT WENT WRONG? Behind the wall of silence in healthcare are the unanswered questions of patients, spouses and parents whose precious children and loved ones experienced harm at the hands of the very caregivers they placed their trust in. In an industry where information and communication are crucial to quality, patients’, spouses’ and parents’ voices often go unheard. Why can’t I talk to the surgeon and get straight answers to straight questions without the surgeon being defensive? Why can’t I get someone to empathize with me?
Today, there is no lack of discussion about healthcare delivery and quality. Quality from the patients’ perspective includes access to care, responsiveness and empathy, good communication and clear information, appropriate treatment, relief of symptoms, improvement in health status, and safety and freedom from medical injury.
If a surgical error occurs it is important for the healthcare provider to listen to the patient, spouse or parent, acknowledge the damage, give an honest and open explanation and not try to hide the truth. If