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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Disclosing large scale adverse events in the US Veterans Health Administration: lessons from media responses.

Maguire EM, Bokhour BG, Asch SM, et al. Public health. 2016;135:75-82.

Large-scale adverse events can diminish public trust. According to this qualitative analysis of print, broadcast, and social media reports associated with certain infection control lapses in the Veterans Affairs health system, media reports did not convey specific aspects of error disclosure, such as apologies and lessons learned. Investigators also found that comments from hospital officials focused on providing factual information, while quotes from elected officials were largely negative. This study highlights the continuing need to follow evidence-based disclosure practices when interacting with media after adverse events.