Cognitive Institute is an international leader in open disclosure education, providing training to government health departments, public and private hospitals, and medical indemnifiers across the world to support the introduction of this critical, but often challenging initiative.

Turning policy into practice, our programmes work to overcome barriers to open and honest communication, and provide the necessary skills training to confidently and competently support patients when something goes wrong.

The Institute’s expertise has been integral to the creation of open disclosure policy and training standards, and our ground-breaking methodology is now found in countries across three continents. Our Clinical Incident Management programme meets fully the training standards required by regulators in Australia and New Zealand.

We pioneered the expert communication peer support model in the Asia Pacific, including delivering much of the training for the flagship open disclosure pilot sites commissioned by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

After incorporating the Institute’s systems and training, many organisations are now reporting significant benefits to the organisation and their clinicians including:

  • more professional and effective conduct of difficult conversations with patients and families after serious adverse outcomes
  • early identification of patient and family needs, facilitating a prompt and appropriate response designed to increase patient support and reduce the risk of misunderstanding and unnecessary distress
  • higher levels of support provided for clinicians facing their own distress while supporting them to conduct open conversations with patients and families after the most serious of adverse outcomes
  • reductions in total number of complaints and claims and associated financial costs by skillful attention to patient needs, while in no way limiting their right to initiate legitimate redress.

Sharing our international experience, we help:

  • understand the systematic requirements and cultural conditions essential to successful implementation of open disclosure
  • implement culture change programmes to ensure enlistment, particularly among clinical leaders, managers and medical staff
  • upskill frontline clinicians in handling open disclosure
  • introduce procedures and communication skills training for high level sentinel events and serious adverse outcomes.

Critical to the success of the Institute’s programmes is our colleague to colleague approach; showing how professional and patient respect can be maintained and enhanced while engaging with this ethical but challenging requirement.

Our skills training features simulated patient rehearsal, working with professional actors through carefully prepared cases with active coaching from our experienced and professional clinician faculty.

Read Dr Allan Pelkowitz’s case study; Open Disclosure and its usefulness for Medical Executives