JUNE 2019
Can better clinician communication skills reduce liability & burnout costs?
Hospitals | Risk Managers | Safety & Quality Managers | Training Directors | Team & Unit Leaders | Practice Managers | Physicians, Nurses, & Medical Professionals

Two new, eye-opening studies reckon with the actual costs of medical error and clinician burnout. The numbers (below) are astoundingly high.

Their conclusions flag a common theme: more open communication and positive relationships can help manage or reduce the dollars involved. Since clinicians' emotional exhaustion can increase risks for both errors and burnout, exploring and addressing that fatigue offers one worthwhile, cost-effective option for improvement.

Below, please find the two studies, along with two short, efficient ONLINE workshops to help you, your team, and your institution prepare for two kinds of difficult conversations: Disclosure & Apology after Error or Adverse Events FOR RADIOLOGISTS (June 26) and Aligning Patient-Provider Expectations for Informed Consent (self-paced). If you'd like more information, custom programs, or counsel, please be in touch .

Director, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice
Associate Professor of Radiology, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Actual Costs of Errors & Clinician Burnout
Different issues; common threads
Over a single year in Massachusetts, a new study by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety identified 61,982 medical errors with $617 million in excess costs attributable to errors. As reported in the Boston Globe, 1-in-5 "residents have experienced a recent medical error, and most of them said they “still feel abandoned or betrayed by their doctor,’’ and "only 19 percent of residents who reported an error said a caregiver apologized afterward." " One bright spot: when providers spoke honestly about mistakes, patients were less likely to feel angry, depressed, abandoned, and betrayed."
"Physician burnout costs the healthcare industry between $2.6 billion and $6.3 billion each year, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine... However, there's evidence burnout can be reduced without requiring a heavy level of investment... Organizations should prioritize a human-centered culture, including flexible work schedules and peer-to-peer support."
with IPEP's Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital faculty
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
9-11am EDT | 6-8am PDT
An error in care. A delayed diagnosis. What happened last time your team had to discuss these with a patient and family? Want to do better?
 Gain practical, RADIOLOGY-SPECIFIC skills in:
  • Planning for disclosure
  • Re-establishing trust
  • Managing distress (including the kind of distress on your own team that can lead to burnout)
  • Coaching colleagues
CEs available.
What participants are saying...
"This workshop takes the fear out of handling difficult conversations with patients. The accompanying video and PDF resources are also invaluable ."
~ Gloria Hwang, MD
Director of Clinical Performance Improvement,
Stanford University Department of Radiology
Communication for informed consent is vital for patients, families, and providers. Yet it is often inadequate, resulting in poorly aligned expectations for a surgery, procedure, or course of treatment can lead to frustration, anger, and even litigation. This course will help you and your team improve the informed consent process, with special attention to surgical informed consent. CEs available.
"Communication after harmful events is a process , not an isolated event." 
HealthLeaders interviews Sigall Bell, MD, IPEP director of patient safety and quality initiatives and also director of patient safety and discovery, OpenNotes, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. 

Some highlights: "Disclosure guidelines often emphasize what to say, or at least what topics to cover. It is equally important to think about how to communicate."

"Robust organizational learning and safety improvements are likely limited in a "deny and defend" culture that does not adopt transparent communication."

Rebuilding Trust and Learning from Our Mistakes
Sharing a second experience of an adverse event, Beth Daley Ullem shows how rebuilding of trust and learning can come from transparency.


Based at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, The Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice trains institutions, teams, and clinicians worldwide to plan for and engage better in their most difficult conversations with greater readiness, confidence, compassion, and skill.

The Institute offers workshops, monthly interdisciplinary clinician support rounds, trainer-training, custom programs in Boston and at host institutions, and consultation, all integrating its innovative, validated approach to hands-on learning.

ipep@childrens.harvard.edu | (617) 355-5021