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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2018 Dec 5;2018:1425-1434. eCollection 2018.

Must We Bust the Trust?: Understanding How the Clinician-Patient Relationship Influences Patient Engagement in Safety.

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University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA.


Although patients desire safe care, they are reluctant to perform safety-related behaviors when they worry it could harm the relationships they have with clinicians. This influence of the clinician-patient relationship on patient engagement in safety is poorly understood, and most patient-facing safety interventions ignore its influence, focusing instead on helping patients access information about their care and report errors. We conducted semi-structured interviews with hospitalized patients to uncover their needs for patient-facing information systems that could help them prevent medical errors. We found that the clinician-patient relationship could either encourage or discourage patients and caregivers from engaging in patient safety actions. We describe our findings and discuss the implications for the design of patient-facing interventions to promote patient engagement in safety. Our findings shed light on how patient-facing safety interventions can be designed to effectively engage patients and caregivers.


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