There are many open disclosure success stories in Australia. Mater Health Services in Brisbane is among them.
Mater recognises that openly discussing adverse events and near misses with patients and their families is an integral component of Mater’s Mission and Values, and is openly committed to the principles of open disclosure and the promotion of a safety culture that values transparency, honesty and respect.
Mater’s Clinical Safety and Quality Unit (CSQU) was formed in 2002. The CSQU’s role is broad, and includes responsibility for medico-legal advice relevant to open disclosure. The Mater’s approach to open disclosure has included the introduction of in-house Medico-Legal Counsel to Mater campus in September 2003, and in-house claims management in January 2004. These staff members play an important role in staff education, early liaison with patients and their families and, where indicated, early resolution of complaints, claims and compensation.
Other steps which Mater has introduced and which are integral to comprehensive implementation of open disclosure include:
For the majority of reported clinical incidents, open disclosure now takes place as a matter of course, initiated by the clinicians involved in patient care. Mater recognises that ensuring early and comprehensive disclosure with the patient in relation to an event fosters a good rapport with the patient and their family and which ultimately will have a positive influence on patient clinical care and the rapid resolution of the patient’s concerns.