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Sorry Really Does Work – Boston Hospital’s Apology to Widower

By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications

We’ve long been fans and proponents of Sorry Works!  In fact, I make sure to include information about Sorry Works! in literally every single presentation I do throughout the year (over 110 in 2018).  From their web page:

Sorry Works! is the nation’s leading disclosure training & advocacy organization.  They are an IRS-certified/approved 501c3 non-profit organization.

At Sorry Works!, we have a different approach to the medical malpractice crisis.  We don’t believe in winners and losers, and we don’t believe the medical malpractice crisis is a legal problem to be solved by politicians and the courts.  We do believe that medical malpractice lawsuits are driven primarily by communication and customer service issues, and the best thing for all stakeholders — patients, families, clinicians — is to stay connected and working together after something goes wrong.  Sure there are some greedy patients/families out there, just like there are some really horribly clinicians — but these are the extremes.

The vast majority of people involved in healthcare on a daily basis, be they clinicians or consumers, are there for the right reasons, and we need to keep these good people communicating and working together after something goes wrong.  At Sorry Works, we teach healthcare, insurance, and legal professionals how to stay connected with patients and families after adverse medical events with a three-step process of empathy, review, and resolution.  We believe lawyers (defense and plaintiffs counsel) have a role in this process, but they should not be calling the shots.  Doctors and nurses along with hospitals and nursing homes are in charge of the process and must make sure their ethical principles are honored every day.

Sorry Works! also teaches patients and families about the disclosure movement and how to interact with clinicians and healthcare organizations after something goes wrong in a medical setting.

This novel approach does lower lawsuits and litigation costs while increasing accountability, including meeting the financial needs of patients and families harmed by medical errors.  Our approach also improves patient safety while addressing the needs of the “2nd victims,” or the clinicians who are emotionally traumatized by an adverse medical event.

While you may not work for a hospital or other kind of medical facility, the lessons taught by Sorry Works! are indeed universal – and we’ve successfully applied this model across all market sectors.

From Sorry Works!: Recently, Sorry Works! shared the story of Laura Levis’ tragic death after being locked out of a Boston hospital during an asthma attack, and the tortured path the hospital took in providing an apology to her husband, Peter.  The apology was two years late and was only offered after Peter, a former Boston Globe reporter, castigated the hospital in a long article (51 pages!) in the Boston Globe’s Magazine.  Sorry Works! critiqued the hospital’s original apology for this audience — you can read that blog post here.  A few weeks ago, (December 29, 2018), Peter provided an important update to his story in the Boston Globe that (you) will want to absorb and share. You can read the key points below, but we encourage you to read the entire article and draw your own conclusions.

To read the rest of this story, please click here.


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