Harvard Consensus Statement

Spring 2006 the Harvard Hospital Group published the Harvard Consensus Statement:
When things go wrong: Responding to adverse events


This group consists of sixteen Harvard Teaching Hospitals.

The paper is organized in three major divisions:
1. The Patient and Family Experience
2. The Caregiver Experience
3. Management of the events.

Each section has three parts:
1. A brief summary of expert consensus about the issue
2. The reason and evidence behind consensus
3. Recommendations

The Harvard Hospital Group recommends to adopt the following principles:
– full, open and honest disclosure to the patient on the medical error and the damage
– providing genuine follow-up diagnostics and remedial medical care to mitigate the damage

This report is of major importance to the improvement of the position of victims of medical errors and patient safety. Therefore its recommendations should be implemented as soon as possible in Europe and globally.