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CANDOR: The Antidote to Deny and Defend?

On September 9, 2009, President Barack Obama dispatched the Department of Health and Human Services on a mission to explore the related problems of health care's inadequate focus on patient safety and the proliferation of medical malpractice litigation. One approach to these sibling challenges is a principle-based, proactive, and transparent response to patients who have experienced injury due to an adverse event. Disclosure and resolution call for health care professionals and institutions to investigate adverse events and honestly explain what happened to patients and families, leveraging patients’ experience quickly to improve patient safety and prevent the recurrence of such incidents, and, when appropriate, apologize and offer fair compensation.

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