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 several 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.

CARe aims to 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.

Bring CARe to your organization

Please email Melinda.VanNiel@BetsyLehmanCenterMA.gov with questions about adopting the CARe approach at your organization.


CARe Forums

Watch videos and download slides from recent CARe Forums, an annual event with case simulations and testimonials from patients, families and clinicians.

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A new partnership

In March 2022, we announced that the work of the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury (MACRMI) will now be led by the Betsy Lehman Center.

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