Dealing with a Patient Incident

When there is an adverse incident involving a patient you need to know you are taking the right measures to address it, now and in the future. We are here to help. 

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Dealing with patients and the threat of litigation
Like most health professionals, dentists will inevitably have patients who are dissatisfied with their clinical care or treatment results. Such situations are usually stressful, and the dentist’s anxiety will be compounded if a patient’s complaints are accompanied or followed by a demand for compensation or a threat of legal action.
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Disclosure of adverse events
An adverse event is an injury caused by clinical management rather than a patient’s underlying disease or condition. Openness and transparency in responding to such occurrences is considered a key ingredient in improving patient safety. It is also just good practice.
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Dos and don’ts
PLP recommends that members be familiar with Ontario’s Apology Act, which provides that an apology is not an admission of wrongdoing.
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The Apology Act, 2009
While most health practitioners understand the rationale behind and accept the duty to disclose adverse events, there is often reluctance ongoing reticence to apologize to patients when treatment does not turn out as planned.

RCDSO Resources

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario develops, establishes and maintains programs and standards of practice to ensure the quality of the practice of dentistry in Ontario.