Course: Spotlight on Patient Safety: Disclosure of Medical Errors, Second Edition
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 5
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 4.50
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 30
Course Release Date: 5/1/2013
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
Tips on how and when to disclose an error to patients.

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Spotlight on Patient Safety
Disclosure of Medical Errors, Second Edition


In our litigious society, conceding that something went wrong in patient care is hard enough, but admitting that it was the result of your own error and apologizing for it may be seen as the equivalent of falling on your own sword. Fortunately, the reality is much different. For a variety of reasons we’ll explore throughout this course, disclosing medical errors is not only good, ethical medicine, but is often your best strategy for avoiding a medical malpractice suit, or at least minimizing the consequences if you do get sued.


Upon completion of this course, a physician should be able to:

1.  Outline perceived barriers to disclosure and identify factors that make it necessary.
2.  Explain why a policy of disclosure and apology for a medical error accompanied by a fair monetary offer may actually lower your potential liability.
3.  Discuss the steps doctors must take to prepare for the disclosure of a medical error.
4.  List guidelines for communicating errors to the patient and/or family.
5.  Describe follow-up procedures to disclosure of a medical error.

Target Audience
This course is designed for physicians of any specialty.


This is a self-study course consisting of text and CME test.  Physicians should read the course content, answer the test questions and submit the answers for scoring.  Those who complete the course with a score of 80 percent or higher will earn a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.


This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D. and James E. Schutte, Ph.D.  Their CVs are available at

CME Information

Medical Risk Management, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education for physicians.  Medical Risk Management, Inc. designates this enduring material  for a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is valid for release May 1, 2019 and expires on December 31, 2021.

Estimated time to complete this course: 5 hours.

Commercial Support

This activity was developed solely by Medical Risk Management, Inc. without any commercial support.


Neither Dr. Gafner nor Dr. Schutte have anything to disclose.

Please check with your insurance carrier for approved courses before registering.  Courses not approved by your insurance carrier will not be accepted by them for any discounts they may offer.