Communication and Resolution Programs: The Essentials

A commitment to patient-centered quality and safety is a prerequisite for CRP implementation.

CRPs are most successful when quality and safety are prioritized within an organization, and leadership and staff work to align internal processes and incentives with those priorities. Organizations that communicate this, and set clear expectations that management and staff act in accordance with these priorities, are best prepared to implement CRPs. CRPs, in turn, can reinforce a culture that values honesty and transparency and is just and accountable. Healthcare organizations, liability insurers, and clinicians consistently follow eight practices when they use a CRP successfully to respond when patients are harmed in the course of their medical care.

The eight essential CRP practices

  1. Immediately report adverse events to the healthcare institution (within 30 minutes of the event’s discovery).
  2. Communicate with patients about what happened, whether it was preventable, why it happened, and how recurrences will be prevented.
  3. Analyze adverse events using human factors principles and develop action plans to prevent recurrences.
  4. Support the emotional needs of the patient, family and care team.
  5. Proactively and promptly offer financial and non-financial resolution to patients and families when care is unreasonable.
  6. Educate patients and families about their right to seek legal representation at any time.
  7. Work collaboratively with involved healthcare organizations and professional liability insurers to resolve adverse events.
  8. Assess the effectiveness of the CRP program using tested and accepted measures.