"...a Hospital...should do the sick no harm."
— Florence Nightingale, Notes on Hospitals, 1859
Patient Safety is about:
- Eliminating preventable medical mistakes
- Guarding against the impact of human error
- Establishing hospital-wide systems to safeguard patients' health and well-being.
Baystate Health emphasizes understanding "why" and "how" events happen, not focusing just "who" caused a particular event. The Division of Healthcare Quality is responsible for ensuring that Baystate facilities provide the safest treatment possible. Some patient safety initiatives are:
- Taking a leadership role in educating Baystate employees to make patient safety their highest priority and to follow nationally recognized patient safety guidelines in all patient interactions.
- Administering a Safety Reporting System (SRS), a web-based computerized event and near-miss event reporting system.
- Helping patients understand their role in ensuring their own safety.
- Educating patients about available patient safety resources.
- Encouraging patients to use quality and safety data when making health decisions.
Baystate Health has joined other Massachusetts hospitals in subscribing to the "PatientCareLink" Continuing the Commitment to Safe Care" initiative.
Patients Role in Patient Safety
Patients and their family members can take an active role in assuring that a hospital stay is safe and free of preventable medical errors by:
- Being well-informed
- Asking their physicians and nurses about their diagnosis and treatment
- Making sure that every hospital employee providing care to them knows:
- Who they are
- What their health issues are
- Questioning anything that does not seem quite right, such as:
- If the hospital employee does not know their name
- If a medication does not look familiar
- If the employee is preparing the wrong part of the body for treatment.
Resources for patients who want to take an active role in ensuring their own safety.
Communication, Apology, and Resolution (CARe)
Baystate Health is committed to an open, honest, and transparent environment in which patients and families are promptly notified of unanticipated adverse events.
Baystate Health is a founding member of the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication following Medical Injury (MACRMI). MACRMI is a Massachusetts alliance of patient advocacy groups, teaching hospitals and their insurers, and statewide provider organizations committed to transparent communications, sincere apologies, and fair compensation in cases of avoidable medical harm. MACRMI’s two lead health systems—Baystate Health (and community hospitals) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (and community hospitals) have undertaken the implementation of Communication, Apology, and Resolution (CARe) to improve the way we evaluate and analyze unanticipated outcomes in healthcare. CARe is a quality improvement initiative that represents a new way of responding to medical errors that puts patient needs first. Its goals are to:
- Improve communication between health care providers and their patients;
- Determine what went wrong, and, if possible, prevent it from happening again;
- Offer an apology and work with the patient and family to come to resolution, including offering compensation, if appropriate.
For questions, please contact Risk Management at 413-794-3359.