Open disclosure is the open discussion of adverse events that result in harm to a patient while receiving health care with the patient, their family and carers.
The elements of open disclosure are:
- an apology or expression of regret, which should include the words ‘I am sorry’ or ‘we are sorry’
- a factual explanation of what happened
- an opportunity for the patient, their family and carers to relate their experience
- a discussion of the potential consequences of the adverse event
- an explanation of the steps being taken to manage the adverse event and prevent recurrence.
- Consumer resources on open disclosure
Our two fact sheets increase understanding of the open disclosure process, and support communication between clinicians and consumers.
- Open disclosure - What to expect if you experience harm during health care?
- Preparing and participating in open disclosure discussions
- Open Disclosure Program
The essential elements of open disclosure are outlined in the national Australian Open Disclosure Framework.
The Commission’s Open Disclosure Program:
- Maintains the Australian Open Disclosure Framework
- Participates in, and coordinates national open disclosure projects and research.
- Frequently asked questions
Open disclosure involves the open discussion of incidents that result in harm to a patient while receiving health care. These FAQs answer some common questions about this process.