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Hospital tries to stop emotional harm, too

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Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has set up a process to eliminate emotional harm, which, says this FierceHealthcare piece, “patients emphasize even more {than physical harm} when asked about consequences of adverse events. Examples of emotional harm include the failure to have a sensitive conservation in a private setting or ‘never events,’ such as sending the wrong body to a funeral home after a patient’s death, according to BIDMC.”

In a piece in BMJ Quality and Safety, BIDMC spokespeople wrote: “For these emotional harms, we are where we were with patient safety before 1999; we know they occur, but lacking a systemic approach to capture, categorize or assess them, we struggle to understand root causes and prevent future events. We do not even have reliable estimates of how often such harms occur. Some evidence suggests they may be more prevalent than physical harms,”

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