Open Disclosure

Every patient has the right to be treated with care, consideration and dignity. At St Vincent’s Private Hospital, we respect this, and we’re committed to improving the safety and quality of the care we deliver. That’s why we have a policy of open disclosure in case things don’t go as planned with the care provided. Open disclosure assists patients when they are unintentionally harmed during health care.

What is open disclosure?

Open disclosure is an open discussion about incidents that cause harm to a patient. If you have been harmed during your treatment, your doctor, nurse or other healthcare worker should talk to you about it. St Vincent’s Private Hospital encourage their staff, as well as patients and their family or carers, to identify and report when things go wrong or when patients are harmed so that care can be improved.

When would open disclosure occur?

Most things that don’t go to plan in health care are minor and are found before they affect you. For things which don’t result in harm, your doctor or nurse will talk with you about what went wrong in the same way they talk with you about other aspects of your treatment. They should talk with you as soon as they are aware of the incident.

If you are seriously harmed, you will be informed as soon as possible and an open disclosure meeting will be held. If you think a serious incident has occurred which has not been acknowledged, tell your doctor, nurse or other health service staff.

What is the benefit of open disclosure?

Open disclosure is designed for when things don’t go to plan in health care. It will:

  1. Inform you, and help you to understand what went wrong with your care.
  2. Let you know what is being done to investigate what went wrong.
  3. Explain the consequences of the incident for you and your carer.
  4. Assist you with any support you might need.
  5. Let you know the steps St Vincent’s Private Hospital will be taking to make care safer in the future.