Apology Letter to Patient – 5+ Sample Letters

An apology letter to patient is written by a doctor to a patient to express regret for a mistake. Example of incidences that could lead to a doctor apologizing to a patient is missing an appointment, misdiagnoses or any other infraction during his services with a patient. The mistake from a doctor to a patient can lead to lack of trust, which could risk the career of the doctor.

When there is a mistake, it can be confusing on the right words to use to convince the patient that you are really sorry. At this point, using a sample letter and the guidelines to follow when apologizing will make things easier, simpler and clearer for you.

How to Apologize to a Patient in Person

In the daily operations of a doctor, complains are inevitable. In one way or another, you will meet a patient who is not satisfied with the services offered or find yourself forgetting about an appointment that you had with a patient among other faults. When this happens, your wish is to see the patient face to face to offer your apologies. If you get this opportunity, using the guidelines below will be helpful.
  • Present yourself to the patient. If there has been a mistake, the first step will be to present yourself to where the patient is in person. The patient could be in the ward, exam room or at your secretary’s office. Then introduce yourself to the patient by shaking the patient’s hand to show good will. Get a seat to show the patient that you have all the time to listen to them.
  • Admit your mistake. After the introduction and setting a good atmosphere, the patient is now calm to listen to you. This is where you admit you are wrong by using statements like “I understand we have not done a very good job with getting your results right”, or “I understand there was a problem with the Scan results”. This statement calls for a response from the patient. Wait for them to respond so that you can know the depth of the mistake and how the patient feels about it.
  • Apologize. From the response of the patient, the next step will definitely be so state that you are sorry for what happened. Use statement like “I would like to apologize on behalf of the staff for the misdiagnoses”.
  • Offer a solution or amendment. Let the patient know what you are doing to correct the mistake. You can use statement like “ I will run another test on you to get to see the problem, and this time it will be keen because I have checked on the test apparatus” or “ I am ready to see you at your best convenient time”.
  • Give your contacts to the patient. If the patient did not have your contacts, you can give them your business card and tell them to reach to you in case they need your services. You can use statement like “once again, my name is.., here is my card, call me anytime you want some assistance.”
  • Do a follow up. Follow up on the patient to find out if they were satisfied with the amendments that were made. Another form of follow up is by making sure that the cause of the mistake was fixed to avoid such in future.

How to Write an Apology Letter to Patient

There are times when a fault will happen, and the patient will not give you time for a face-to-face apology. It is at this time that you write to them to express your regret for the fault to keep a good relationship with the patient as well as keep a good name about your services. Here are some guidelines to help you write one:
  • Make a subject line. This will engage the recipient to your letter because he/she will want an explanation of what happened. You can use a subject line like “Apology for [the mistake done]”.
  • Take responsibility. Acknowledge that you are wrong and state the mistake that you did. Do not give so many excuses but rather go straight to the point. You can use statement like “I gave the wrong lab results to you”
  • Apologize sincerely. This is the main part of the letter. It is the reason why you are writing. The patient already knows what you did but doesn’t know that you regret doing it. After taking responsibility about your mistake, now apologize by saying you are sorry, or you apologize for all that happened.
  • Be honest. Do not lie about what happened. If the lab results came out wrong because of faulty lab apparatus, let the patient know instead of telling the patient that you were confused or worked up and didn’t know which results belonged to the patient.
  • Offer a solution. If there is something that can be done to amend the mistake, state it. For example, you can say that you have worked on the apparatus and you can do another test or you have called another clinic to help the patient with the tests. Do not state something that you know cannot be amended. In such cases, just offer your sincere apologies and hope that it never happens again.
  • Promise the patient that the mistake will not happen again Let the patient know that you have learnt from the mistake and it will not happen again. This is what will keep your relationship with the patient. Make sure you don’t give empty promises for this may end up ruining you even more. Work on the cause to avoid it in future.

Apology Letter to Patient (Format)

Dear [Name of the patient],

It has come to my notice that the services offered to you from the hospital did not meet the standards we have stated. You experienced a

lot of delay at the lab as well as the pharmacy. I am so sorry about what you experienced.

I admit that this was wrong and short of what is expected from the hospital. I checked on the problem and it was caused by a slow system

on the computers, which are used for data entry. The system is now improved in all the departments of the hospital and I am certain that this mistake will not happen again in future.

Please accept my sincere apology on behalf of the hospital staff. We look forward to seeing you again in future and providing the best services to you. We value our clients and your views are much appreciated.

I thank you.



Apology Letter for Mistake

The primary usage for this particular letter will be in the case of a general mistake being made on behalf of the institute. It’s useful when the situation is fitting and does not need to be tailored directly to a specific circumstance. If there are specific bits of information that need to be input, a more detailed letter may be necessary.

Dear [NAME]

It is with great concern and regret that we must inform you that on [DATE], one of our staff members has unfortunately made an error in their duties. This staff member has been reprimanded and the consequences will be just and according.

A series of unexpected circumstances occurred on that day which triggered a series of events that should have been handled more adequately.

We guarantee you that this will never happen again and we have taken the necessary measures to ensure that it doesn’t.

On behalf of our entire institute, we would like to extend our deepest apologies. We take great pride in our services and results and this impacts us deeply as well.

We value our customers greatly and ask you to please feel free to continue to provide feedback about our services. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss this matter further, you’re more than welcome and encouraged to do so.

We thank you for your invaluable support,


Apology Letter for long wait

This is useful for situations where a patient is forced to wait an exorbitant amount of time to receive service. As long as there were no mistakes made in the process of being helped, this letter is to be used. If there were mistakes made in the process of serving the patient, the for a mistake is to be used.

Dear [NAME],

We want to thank you for the feedback regarding your visit to our clinic. We understand that you were forced to wait an exorbitant length of time for your appointment on [DATE]. We are regretful and sorry to hear about your negative experience and if you felt disrespected.

We would like to formally apologize for the long wait you endured. We do understand your time is valuable and that we wasted it with our delays.

We guarantee you that this will never happen again and we have taken the necessary measures to ensure that it doesn’t.

We want you to know that the issue is currently being addressed and there are measures being placed to prevent our patients from suffering from unforeseen periods of waiting.

We never want any of our patients to feel ignored or dismissed. I hope that we can make it up to you with your next visit.

On behalf of [COMPANY NAME], we thank you for your time and your feedback.



Apology Letter for Poor Service

If poor service is ever rendered to a patient without any real mistakes, this letter is to be used. This could be rude customer care, referring to a patient in an ill manner or perhaps calling them by the wrong name. Anything that does not alter the results of the outcome of the patient’s treatment but lowers the quality of the visit in another manner.

Dear [NAME],

On behalf of our entire company, we would like to issue a formal and sincere apology. I am rightfully sorry to learn that your experience was less than adequate. We hold our staff and services to a high standard and we when that is not provided, our reputation is tarnished. This is never a good thing for any party involved.

We take full responsibility for the less than standard experience you faced. This this regard, we have failed. Our staff is rigorously trained to the highest of expectations, but occasionally people make mistakes.

Please rest assured this type of situation will never happen again on my watch. New procedures have been put in place as of today, that ensure that any customer who is set to face the same situation will be remedied immediately.

I would also like to thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. It will greatly help us improve our operations and services in the future.

If there are any other issues that need addressed or questions you have regarding the matter, please do not hesitate to bring them up to our staff.



Apology Letter for Billing Error

If ever there are billing issues or mistakes on our end, it is necessary to issue an apology letter for billing error. Financial errors are still errors nonetheless and it’s just as important to have an apology letter issued. Patients in this scenario can feel taken advantage of or duped so it becomes important to recognize and acknowledge this.

Dear [NAME],

We checked your account and after further review, we have indeed found an error on our part. You were absolute right in your assessment and our records are indicating that there was an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

We’d like to give the deepest and most regrettable apology for the mistakes that have been made. An error of this kind is never acceptable or appropriate. It makes us look unprofessional and it wastes the time and resources of all those involved. This is a terrible mistake and an instance of shame.

We’d like to inform you that measures have been implemented to safeguard this issue from ever taking place again. It is incredibly unfortunate that you have faced the inadequacies of our staff and we are preventing this from happening from you or anyone else again. We deeply hope your next visit with us goes smoother and more enjoyable.

We do wish to thank you for bringing this to our attention as errors like this are vastly important and need to be addressed as soon as physically possible. Rest assured this issue been taken into account and will not happen again.

If you have any other issues or questions, feel free to contact us again.



Dental Apology Letter

A dental apology is simply a mistake in the dental realm. This is very similar to the letter of apology for a mistake but instead of being in the clinical and medical realm side of the field, this is inside the dental field.

Dear [NAME],

We at [COMPANY NAME] wish to send you our deepest and most sincere apologies for the issues and negative experiences that you underwent on [DATE].

It is never acceptable for any patient to ever experience what you were forced to go through. Our staff is highly trained to prevent issues just like this from happening. Unfortunately, people occasionally make mistakes. It’s a tragedy that this one slipped through our fingers.

We cannot send enough condolences to you to express how awful we feel toward your experience with us.

Measures have been put in to effect immediately to prevent such an occasion from ever taking place again. It is monumentally important that our patients are taken care of to the highest degrees of excellence that we set ourselves at.

Again, we wish to send the deepest and regretful apologies to your party for the less than adequate experience you had with us.

If you wish to discuss this any further or have any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Tips for Writing a Perfect Apology Letter

Writing an apology letter can be hard especially on choosing the right flow of words to avoid looking confused. Here are some tips to help you when writing.

Be straight to the point

Do not beat around the bush with your sorry. Just be straight forward and say, “ I am sorry” instead of “I am sorry but…”

Own the mistake

Do not put the blame on other people. Take full responsibility of the mistake.

Explain what happened

Take the recipient through the cause of the incident. This will help them know what really happened. However, do not put so much focus on the blame because it may end up making the explanation too long, remain focused on your role.

State your plan to amend the mistake

Let the recipient know the measures you have put in place to rectify the mistake or to make sure that the mistake will never happen again.

Ask for forgiveness

The main purpose of the letter is to ask for forgiveness. After all the explanation, make sure you ask for forgiveness. You can use a statement like “please forgive me”