ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
We disagree with Dr. Darshak Sanghavi that “there is no appetite in the medical community to come clean preemptively” about medical errors and that no major reforms “are truly proactive” (“Why Is It So Hard for Doctors to Apologize?” January 27). The establishment of the Communications, Apology and Resolution (CARe) program in 2012, and the support it has among hospitals, physicians, attorneys, insurers, and patients, is testimony to a desire to fix a broken medical liability system and improve patient safety. The result of years of effort by our two organizations, CARe offers what patients who have experienced harm tell us they want: full disclosure of what happened and why, what will be done to prevent a recurrence, and for those events deemed avoidable, a sincere apology and offer of compensation. Six hospitals are now conducting pilot programs, and the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury (macrmi.info) has been established to resolve cases quickly, better report errors, and reduce defensive medicine. It promotes transparency, honesty, fairness, and greater safety. Patients should know that, with regard to medical errors, physicians are not only listening but are also taking action.