Disclosure of Harm

Healthcare providers strive to deliver care that is safe. But things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes people are harmed while receiving healthcare.

Someone who has been harmed deserves to receive timely, open, respectful, and transparent communication. Disclosure is the practice that guides this communication.

The HQCA has collaborated with partner organizations, and patient and family advisors, to develop a new Guide to Disclosure of Harm as a resource for healthcare professionals.

Download Resources

A Guide to Disclosure of Harm (2023)

A resource for healthcare providers.

When Something Goes Wrong (2023)

Information for patients who’ve been harmed during healthcare.

Videos: Recognizing the value of disclosure is important.

Watch these stories of providers and patients to better understand how proper disclosure benefits everyone involved and makes the system safer.

Near Fatal: A Patient Safety Story (03:29)
Healthcare workers and the mother of a young child in Saskatchewan talk about the health region’s effective response to a near fatal hospital incident involving medication error.
Patient and Provider Come Together in Wake of Patient Safety Incident (11:29)
Two dialysis patients were mistakenly given potassium chloride in a Calgary hospital in 2004. The director of pharmacy at the time and the daughter of one of the patients who died share how disclosure helped them both heal.
Family Wishes Disclosure Guidelines Used Following Teen’s Death (10:30)
The mother of a Nova Scotia teen who died as a result of a missed diagnosis explains why families feel forced into legal action when the health system won’t talk to them.
Transparency, Compassion, and Truth in Medical Error (15:20)
In this story out of the U.S., a mother whose young son died due to hospital error talks about the impact of harm on families and providers.