Teach health professional students and trainees the fundamental process for disclosing errors to patients and families.



This IPE Toolkit is intended for educators involved in providing interprofessional education for students and trainees.


To provide a packaged interprofessional team training session using error disclosure simulation/role-play as the vector by which health professional students and trainees can learn together to develop and improve team and communication skills.

To be an aid for helping faculty and instructors learn how to teach health professional students and trainees the fundamental process for disclosing errors to patients.


This IPE Toolkit contains fully-developed and validated curriculum to actively engage health professional students and trainees in learning to disclose errors to patients as an interprofessional team. All materials are available free for download and use.

This curriculum is now available on  MedEdPORTAL, an open exchange of peer-reviewed health education teaching and assessment resources to promote educational scholarship and promote collaboration, provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).


McDonough, K.A., White, A.A., Odegard, P.S., Shannon, S.E. (2017). Interprofessional error disclosure training for medical, nursing, pharmacy, dental, and physician assistant students. MedEdPORTAL Publication:

1. Learning Objectives

  1. Practice discussing a medical error in a blame-free way as an interprofessional team.
  2. Practice planning for disclosure of a medical error as an interprofessional team.
  3. Practice disclosing a medical error to a patient or family member as an interprofessional team with honesty, compassion and demonstrating respect for team members.

2. Sample Training Agenda

This agenda was used for the March 6, 2012 Interprofessional Error Disclosure Training (400+ students participated). While it is ideal to have a smaller group of students, this training can be used with larger groups as well.

Sample Training Agenda (.pdf)

3. Presentation

Error disclosure research expert, Dr. Tom Gallagher recorded the following PowerPoint presentation on September 20, 2012. Below are two options to view this video. The Adobe Connect video includes the entire transcript. To play this version, you must enable the latest version of Flash player in your web browser. If you are using an Apple device, you will need to use a third-party web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. After December 31, 2020, Adobe will no longer support the Flash player and the Adobe Connect version of this video may no longer be accessible.

The following link is to a mp4 version of the Adobe Connect video above. Due to the conversion process, portions of the video are blurry and the transcript is not fully visible.

If you are unable to view Dr. Gallagher’s video presentation, the following is a link to the transcript and slides of a similar presentation that Dr. Tom Gallagher gave to a group of interprofessional students (medicine, nursing, pharmacy) on June 20, 2010 outlining the process of error disclosure and its importance in patient care.

4. Faculty Training Guide and Step-by_Step Error Disclosure Guide

The Error Disclosure Faculty Training Guide was developed for faculty who participated in the large rollout of the error disclosure training in March 2012. Two faculty members/educators are needed for the training – one serves as lead facilitator and the other plays the role of the family member in the disclosure. Developed by: Sarah Shannon, PhD, RN.Error Disclosure Faculty Training Guide (pdf)

The Error Disclosure Pocket Guide is a short, step-by-step guide that can be downloaded and printed for students.

Error Disclosure Pocket Guide (pdf)

5. Cases and Roles for Students (Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy)

These cases were developed and used during the March 2011 and March 2012 interprofessional student trainings at UW.
Developed by: Sarah Shannon, PhD, RN, Tom Gallagher, MD, and Karen McDonough, MD.

Student Case Roles (pdf)

6. Evaluation Forms

The following course evaluation forms were distributed to student trainees and their faculty facilitators during the March 2011 and 2012 interprofessional student error disclosure training sessions at University of Washington. Developed by: Sarah Shannon, PhD, RN and Karen McDonough, MD.

Student Evaluation Form (pdf)

Faculty Evaluation Form (pdf)

7. References

Gallagher, T. H. (2009). A 62-year-old woman with skin cancer who experienced wrong-site surgery: review of medical error. JAMA, 302(6), 669-677. Retrieved from

Rudolph, J. W., Simon, R., Rivard, P., Dufresne, R. L., & Raemer, D. B. (2007). Debriefing with good judgment: combining rigorous feedback with genuine inquiry. Anesthesiology Clinics, 25(2), 361- 376.

Salas, E., Klein, C., King, H., Salisbury, M., Augenstein, J. S., Birnbach, D. J.,… Upshaw, C. (2008). Debriefing medical teams: 12 evidence-based best practices and tips. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 34(9), 518-527. Retrieved from



The content of this IPE Toolkit was developed by the Macy grant team at the University of Washington, who were funded in 2008 to develop and integrate interprofessional team training into existing curriculum in the Health Sciences schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and the MEDEX physician assistant program. This training was piloted with a group of 20 students in June 2010 and rolled out to a group of 400+ students in March 2011. Each spring quarter, nearly 600 UW health sciences students in the Foundations of Interprofessional Practice program participate in this IPE training.

Macy Grant Team Planning Committee:

Tom Gallagher, MD (UW School of Medicine)
Karen McDonough, MD (UW School of Medicine)
Nanci Murphy, PharmD (UW School of Pharmacy)
Peggy Odegard, PharmD (UW School of Pharmacy)
Sarah Shannon, PhD, RN (UW School of Nursing)
Linda Vorvick, MD (UW School of Medicine)
Andrew White, MD (UW School of Medicine)
Debra Liner, Program Operations Specialist (UW School of Nursing)