Healthcare Policy

Healthcare Policy 16(3) February 2021 : 76-88.doi:10.12927/hcpol.2021.26431
Research Paper

What Factors Impact Implementation of Critical Incident Disclosure in Ontario Hospitals: A Multiple-Case Study

Michael Heenan and Gillian Mulvale


Guidelines and legislation prescribe how hospitals should conduct critical incident disclosures with patients. However, variation in secondary disclosure implementation can occur. Using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, this qualitative multiple-case study explored the factors that impact Ontario hospitals' secondary disclosure of critical incidents. The study concludes that while hospitals generally implement guidelines consistently, complex environments and differing professional backgrounds lead to variations. Consequently, hospitals should address timing delays, improve documentation and enhance support to clinicians who conduct the disclosures. Policy makers should consider the benefits and challenges of written disclosure, and offering patients a choice in the setting where disclosure occurs, as potential improvements.



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