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How to notify the patient

You are required to inform the patient – or a designated representative of the patient – affected by a Serious Reportable Event.

StepTImeframeActionResources
1.Within 7 days of discovery of the SRE

Inform the patient or the patient's representative verbally or in writing or both:

  • That an SRE occurred during the course of his or her care;
  • About any unanticipated outcomes of care, treatment and services provided as a result;
  • About your facility’s policies and procedures and documented review process for making a preventability determination; and
  • That the patient or representative has the option to receive a copy of the SRE report filed with DPH.


Sample 7-day letter
2.Within 30 days of submitting the initial SRE reportTell the patient or the patient’s representative what you learned from your internal review of the SRE. Provide the patient or representative with a copy of the 30-day follow-up report that you filed with DPH.
Sample 30-day letter


Remember that this can be difficult news for a patient or a family member to receive, particularly when the event resulted in death or serious injury. Colleagues involved in an adverse event may also need help. See the Communicate section of this site for additional resources to help with these conversations.


This document is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute regulatory guidance or legal advice. Links and information in this document may be outdated. BLC does not represent or warrant that this information is accurate, complete, or current. For further terms and conditions, see the Terms of Use.