Disclosure and apology

Disclosure and Apology After Medical Error or Adverse Events

Workshop Dates

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
9:00-11:00 am, EDT (6:00-8:00 am PDT)


Speaking with patients or their families after a medical error or an adverse medical event is one of the most difficult and emotionally challenging conversations any clinician can have. Handling it well is critical for your patient’s experience, your own resilience, and your institution. You can learn to have such a conversation with good preparation, presence and compassion. This workshop will introduce clinicians to the understanding, ethical underpinnings, best practices, tools, and skills to conduct these difficult conversations.

What You’ll Learn

Participants will gain a solid grounding in the core principles of error disclosure and apology, so they and their patients can move forward in care. You will recognize what to say and how to say it in these highly-charged situations; identify how to express empathy and be proactive with a grieving patient and family; and provide pragmatic guidelines, tips, and pointers for holding difficult conversations. We’ll use videos as triggers for facilitated group reflective learning about the spectrum of error cases—with strategies for a variety of disclosure discussions.


Led by Harvard Medical School experts in bioethics and communication the workshop will cover:

  • Patient, family and clinician perspectives
  • Core ethical rationale
  • Quality and safety perspectives
  • Best practice guidelines
  • Spectrum of error case scenarios
  • Video recorded enactments of medical error scenario featuring simulated root cause analyses, disclosure coaching, and disclosure conversation

Enrollment is capped at 50 participants in order to offer everyone the opportunity for input and questions during discussion and Q&A sessions.

CME/CE: 2.0 (risk management, MOC)

Registration (via our OPENPeds Platform)

General Information

Upcoming Workshop

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

9:00-11:00am, EDT (6:00-8:00am PDT)


Full course including online workshop, pre-workshop and post-workshop modules: $150.00 for 6.0 (risk management, MOC)

Live Online Workshop: $50.00 for 2.0 (risk management, MOC)

Supplemental Self-Paced Course Activities and Materials:

  • Pre-workshop module: $50.00 for 2.0 (risk management, MOC)
  • Post-workshop module: $50.00 for 2.0 (risk management, MOC) 


The following workshop modulesare optional and supplementary. These self-paced modules provide you with an introduction to disclosure and apology as well as follow-up materials. These self-paced modules are designed to enhance your understanding and help you delve more deeply into the subject matter, but are not required for the online live workshop. You can access these online through our partnership withOPENPediatrics.

Preparation for Disclosure and Apology:
This self-paced module is designed to enrich your participation in the live online workshop. In this module you access activities, including patient and provider stories, guidelines and reflective exercises, giving you a solid grounding of disclosure and apology. CME/CE: 2.0 (risk management, MOC)

Disclosure and Apology in Practice:
Disclosure and Apology in Practice focuses on activities related to clinician support in the disclosure and apology process as well as applying disclosure and within institutions. CME/CE: 2.0 (risk management, MOC)

Who Should Attend

Developed for nationally or internationally based physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, and other care providers, as well as, practice managers, risk managers, and interdisciplinary team coordinators.


A unique feature of the course is a Moderated Online Workshop led by renowned experts in communication. Thelive workshop will be led by:

  • Stephen D. Brown, MD,Director, Institute for Professionalism & Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School; Chair of the Professionalism Committee of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
  • Pamela Varrin, PhD, Psychosocial Faculty, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Boston Children's Hospital; Family Support Coordinator, The Cotting School.
Stephen D. Brown, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Pamela Varrin, PhD
Psychosocial Faculty

Family Faculty

Donna Luff, PhD
Associate Director
Course Director

Continuing Education

In support of improving patient care, Boston Children's Hospital is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for the healthcare team.


Boston Children’s Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of 6AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in this activity.

AAPA accepts AMA category 1 credit for the PRA from organizations accredited by ACCME.


Boston Children’s Hospital designates this activity for 6 contact hours for nurses. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.”