"We've learned we need to change how we take care of patients and each other and that the transformation has to take place at every level in an organization. It's all about changing the culture."

Rates of staff vaccination in the long-term care setting vary widely across the state. Provider organizations are using a mix of strategies — from mandates to financial incentives to individual outreach to persuade their full-time caregivers, dining and custodial staff, contractors such as physical therapists, and others to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The ongoing effort is more challenging now that federally sponsored vaccination clinics in nursing homes have closed, leaving workers to seek vaccines on their own. Employers must also keep accurate records of vaccination status across a dynamic population of employees and report the data weekly to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the ongoing need for highly effective infection control practices in all health care settings. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is asking physicians, nurses, public health professionals, home care workers, environmental service workers, food service staff and others to help inform a nationwide effort to improve training for infection control and prevention by completing a brief survey by June 30.

There are three ways to access the survey, which MA DPH offers in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and John Snow, Inc.:

Upcoming events

  • "Compassion in Action” Healthcare Conference. Offered by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a series of 30+ virtual sessions began June 15 and will extend through September. Sign up any time and get access to all recorded sessions. June 15 – Sept. 30, 2021.  Register here
  • Primary Care at a Critical Crossroads: What's Next for Massachusetts? Massachusetts Health Quality Partners will host a virtual panel discussion about what's next for primary care in the state, following release of the National Academy of Medicine’s report on rebuilding primary care. June 29, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Register here
  • Current topics presented by Betsy Lehman Center staff. View recent posters and presentations on inequities in maternal health, home care safety and more, 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.