Maintaining trust

Overview and objectives

Male physician speaking with elderly woman and her daughter


Patients expect to be informed about harm they have experienced, whatever the reason for it. This information needs to be delivered in a caring manner.  

Effective communication with patients by the healthcare team can restore trust and improve patient outcomes.


After completing this topic you will be able to:
  • Explain the ethical and legal obligations for disclosure of harm from healthcare delivery.
  • Explain the "CMPA disclosure road map."
  • Describe when and how to apologize for an adverse event.
  • List 4 communication approaches to disclosure.
  • Explain how to document adverse events (accidents in Québec) and disclosure discussions.