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Why Should You CARe?

Why Should You CARe?

May 23, 2014

Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury


All hospitals should CARe, or in other words, all hospitals, and other health care providers, should implement the Communication, Apology and Resolution (CARe) program that was the focus of a gathering yesterday at the MA Medical Society.

The CARe program focuses on internal communication and communication with patients and families following the occurrence of a medical error or unanticipated medical outcome. The conference was organized by the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution Following Medical Injury (or MACRMI). Six hospitals in Massachusetts (BI, BI-Milton, BI-Needham, Baystate, Baystate Franklin, and Baystate Mary Lane) have been part of a pilot program looking at how to implement the CARe initiative. Atrius Health and Sturdy Memorial Hospital will be implementing CARe soon.  Look through the MACRMI website for lots of great CARe resources.

Kenneth Sands , the Senior VP for Health Care Quality at BIDMC, spoke about the lessons learned from implementing the CARe program. Many of the lessons learned have to do with the culture change that needs to happen for a hospital to successfully implement the CARe program. He said that what helps CARe succeed includes leadership buy-in, an existing baseline culture of safety, having staff dedicated to overseeing the program, and support (both clinician peer support and support resources for patients and families).

One audience member asked if patient and family advisors from the PFAC had been invited to participate in any of the processes following the occurrence of a medical error. Evan Benjamin, Senior VP for Health Care Quality at Baystate, said that they have started to invite PFAC members to sit in on root causes analyses discussions and that their presence has been powerful, bringing more of a focus to the patient and the communication with the patient.

See this trailer below for a preview of an upcoming documentary (release date TBD - it's still a work inprogress) on the project, “Full Disclosure: The Search for Medical Error Transparency.”