By Patricia Kime, Staff writer
November 15, 2015
Military family members are allowed to file medical malpractice suits against military treatment facilities, but active-duty troops are barred from doing so under the 1950 Supreme Court decision known as the Feres Doctrine.
A doctor removes bandages from a patient. The Defense Department is expanding a program that allows health care providers and patients discuss medical errors in order to do with feelings such as guilt and sorrow.The Defense Department is expanding a program that helps ease some of the sadness, anger, confusion and frustration felt by patients and military doctors after a medical error or poor treatment experience.
(Photo: Air Force)
Underway at eight military medical centers with plans to expand to more, the Healthcare Resolutions program provides a way for doctors, patients and family members to talk — and even apologize — after a medical mistake, unexpected death or breakdown in physician-patient communications.
Developed in 2001 at what is now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the program facilitates discussions between doctors and patients or their family members, aiming to shed light on what went wrong and what's being done to ensure it doesn't happen again, said program developer Barbara Moidel.
“We have learned the value of transparency. We do not want to be defined or disabled by adverse medical events; we commit to learning from them by being transparent. We acknowledge, we apologize," Moidel said.
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