A Communication, Apology and Resolution (CARe) program improves patient safety, reduces costs, and enhances fairness and transparency in medical care.

CARe was initially developed by an alliance of hospitals and health care organizations in Massachusetts as an alternative to costly, lengthy and emotionally difficult lawsuits after a medical injury. But it can do more than that. It can help patients and families in the aftermath of a variety of medical harm events — not just those that might have become lawsuits — and help health care organizations learn from these events.

Previously led by MACRMI until June 2022, the Betsy Lehman Center manages the CARe initiative to help give patients and families meaningful and timely information about an adverse event that occurred in their care. It preserves the dignity of patients who have been harmed, even if that harm was not preventable. This approach, adopted by hundreds of health care facilities across the country, also advances patient safety by capturing information about harm events so providers can learn and improve their practices.

How it works

  1. Health care organizations commit to prompt, empathetic, and transparent communication with patients and families after an adverse event and support for clinicians in disclosing these unexpected outcomes to patients.
  2. Health care organizations investigate the event and try to determine the causes. The goal is to institute new systems or practices to prevent the same thing from happening to other patients.
  3. If the event was found to be preventable, patients and families are offered a sincere apology and financial compensation.

For patients and families

List of FAQs, a directory of attorneys committed to CARe, and additional resources for patients

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For providers

Information about CARe for clinicians and administrators in facilities that have adopted this model

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For attorneys

Best practices for representing patients using the CARe model

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Resource library

Comprehensive database of guidelines, tools, research, and other resources

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CARe forums

Videos, slides and other materials from annual CARe Forums

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List of advisory board members and participating groups

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