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How to defuse a patient complaint

For some complaints, a significant event audit can be an effective action. Most people just want to know that what happened to them won't happen to anyone else.

A patient recently told me of a prescribing error. I called a meeting of the whole team and we did process mapping, looking at what happened stage by stage. We then did a care pathway map, so see what should have happened. Each person then asked 'what could I have done that would have made the situation better?' We agreed an action to change our procedure. I sent a summary to the patient, who was delighted.

Dr Iain Glencross

Huddersfield

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