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Steve Kraman, MD Steve Kraman, MD  Return To Board of Directors Page

Dr. Kraman served as Chief of Staff and Chairman of the Risk Management Committee of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, from October 1986 to February 2003. As Chief of Staff, he was responsible for the development, organization, implementation and support of all patient-care activities.

As Chairman of the facility’s Risk Management Committee, he was instrumental in designing the risk management and patient safety programs of that institution that was the first to consistently employ full-disclosure of medical errors including negotiated compensation (now known as "disclosure and early offer") over a prolonged (16 year) period. The paper that he co-authored in December 1999, established for the first time that disclosure and early offer was not only ethically but financially feasible. This program has been favorably reviewed by other risk management authorities and is being replicated within many other public and private sector medical facilities and other countries.

In 2000, Lexington’s risk management program won a Cheers Award from the Institute of Safe Medication Practice, a Scissors award from the Department of Veterans Affairs and was First runner-up for the Frank Brown Berry Prize in Federal Medicine. In October 2002, the facility’s disclosure policy won the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Award for advocacy sponsored by the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Both Dr. Kraman and his colleague, Ginny Hamm, JD have authored several papers and have been frequent speakers to healthcare organizations on the subjects of risk management, patient safety and how disclosure and early offer helps protect hospitals and doctors from lawsuits while assuring justice for the victims of medical errors.

In August of 2003, Dr. Kraman retired from Federal employment and become a full-time member of the Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine faculty of the Department of Medicine of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine.

Risk Management Papers Authored or Co-Authored by Steve Kraman, MD

1. Kraman, S. S. and G. Hamm. Risk management: Extreme honesty may be the best policy. Ann Int Med. 1999;131:963-967.
2. Kraman, S. S.: Building a patient safety program based on trust (invited paper). Vanguard 2000;XLVI(2):3.
3. Kraman, S.S. A risk management program based on full disclosure and trust: Does everyone win? Invited paper. Comprehensive Therapy 2001;27(3):253-257.
4. Hamm, G and S. S. Kraman. New standards, new dilemmas – Reflections on managing medical mistakes. Bioethics Forum 2001;17(2):19-25.
5. Kraman, S. S. and L. Cranfill. First Hand. Trust works: A novel and effective risk management/patient safety program based on disclosing errors and making amends. Invited paper, Joint Commission Benchmark. 2001;3(3):6-7.
6. Kraman, S.S., Cranfill, L, Hamm, G, and T. Woodard. Advocacy: The Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement. 2002;28(12):646-650.
7. Kraman, S. S. A Common-Sense Solution to the Medical Malpractice Crisis. State News (Counsel of State Governments) 2005;48(2):17-19&37.
8. Gabriel Teninbaum and Steve Kraman, Essay, Disclosure and Offer at Twenty-Five: Time to Adopt Policies to Promote Fairly Negotiated Compensation, 1 Suffolk U. L. Rev. Online 1 (Feb. 25, 2013),

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