At a public forum in Boston yesterday, leaders of influential organizations representing interests across the state’s health care community voiced support for a new strategic plan to accelerate health care safety improvement in the Commonwealth. The state’s new Undersecretary for Health, Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, told nearly 200 attendees that safety has to "be at the center of health care."

Developed by the Massachusetts Healthcare Safety and Quality Consortium and the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety, the Roadmap to Health Care Safety for Massachusetts defines goals, strategies and action steps that guide a statewide effort to prioritize the safety of the health care system for patients and the health care workforce. Speakers emphasized now is the time to work together to advance the Roadmap.

The Roadmap to Health Care Safety for Massachusetts is a multi-faceted, multi-year strategic plan to accelerate progress on making health care safer for patients as well as the health care workforce. The Roadmap is organized around five critical goals for the Commonwealth in the areas of leadership and culture, operations and engagement, patient and family support, workforce well-being, and measurement and transparency. It also defines a set of strategies, with associated action steps, that target information, incentives and implementation support where needed so that providers, policymakers, payers and others can work together to achieve the goals.

Five initial action steps will build a foundation for achieving the Roadmap’s goals. The Betsy Lehman Center and the Massachusetts Healthcare Safety and Quality Consortium will take the lead in the coming year on the following efforts:
  • Create a statewide program of foundational safety education
  • Pilot a program of technical assistance and support to help small office practices implement right-sized continuous improvement systems
  • Pilot the use of automated surveillance of hospital electronic health records to more quickly detect and respond to safety risks
  • Bolster the capacity of Patient and Family Advisory Councils to participate in organizational safety improvement
  • Improve state health care safety data systems by streamlining reporting processes, addressing data duplication and gaps, and promoting appropriate data sharing

Upcoming events
May 10
1 - 2 p.m.
Nursing Practice and Patient Safety: Claims, Trends & Takeaways. This webinar from CRICO will provide an overview of data from nursing medication-related malpractice claims, case examples, polling questions and discussion of best practice recommendations. Register here
May 22-24
IHI Patient Safety Congress 2023. This annual event brings together people who are passionate about ensuring safe, equitable care across all health care settings. The live event will take place in National Harbor, MD. Register here
Patient Safety Beat is published by the Betsy Lehman Center, a Massachusetts state agency that supports providers, patients and policymakers working together to advance the safety and quality of health care.