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The nature and consequences of patient and family emotional harm stemming from preventable medical error, such as losing a loved one or surviving serious medical injury, is poorly understood. Patients and families, clinicians, social scientists, lawyers, and foundation/policy leaders were brought together to establish research priorities for this issue during a one-day conference. They discussed pertinent issues, patient and family experiences after serious harmful events, including profound isolation, psychological distress, damaging aspects of medical culture, health care aversion, and negative effects on communities. The group also created a strategy for overcoming research barriers and actionable “Do Now” approaches to improve the patient and family experience while research is ongoing.


Bell, S. K., Etchegaray, J. M., Gaufberg, E., Lowe, E., Ottosen, M. J., Sands, K. E., … Kenney, L. (2018). A Multi-Stakeholder Consensus-Driven Research Agenda for Better Understanding and Supporting the Emotional Impact of Harmful Events on Patients and Families. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 44(7), 424–435.


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