The Betsy Lehman Center is leading a statewide effort to expand availability of CARe, a unique program that helps patients and families and their health care providers avoid litigation while addressing the impacts of patient harm or other unexpected medical outcomes. Through learning and open communication, CARe also improves patient safety.

CARe stands for Communication, Apology and Resolution and was launched in 2012 by the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury (MACRMI). Key elements of the model include prompt disclosure of information about events to patients and families, discovery of root causes and, in cases of preventable harm, sincere apology and financial compensation. 

Melinda Van Niel, MACRMI’s longtime administrator, will join the Betsy Lehman Center as director of the CARe program and MACRMI board members will continue as advisers to the Center.

The Patient and Family Peer Support Network helps people cope with the difficult feelings that arise after medical injury. As the name suggests, this newly-established network led by the Betsy Lehman Center connects patients and their loved ones with trained volunteers who have had a similar experience and can provide encouragement, support and resources.

Jackie Ewuoso, Senior Program Manager at the Betsy Lehman Center, who oversees the peer support network, says, "Our goal is that every person in Massachusetts has access to the support they need if something goes wrong in their medical care." The peer support network is part of a larger effort by the Center to address the emotional needs of health care professionals, staff, patients, and families in the health care system.  

March 13-19 marks Patient Safety Awareness Week, an event promoting improvement in the safety of health care delivery. Below are just a few of the many resources offered by safety advocacy organizations to recognize this annual event: 

Learn more on Twitter by using the hashtag #PSAW2022.
Upcoming events
March 17
12 - 1 p.m.
AHRQ Twitter chat on diagnostic safety. As part of Patient Safety Awareness Week, AHRQ will host a Twitter chat discussion covering topics related to diagnostic safety and approaches to improving diagnosis. Participate here.
March 18 & 19
Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy Virtual Symposium. Pulse's 2022 Symposium kicks off the third year of the TakeCHARGE Campaign: 5 Steps to Safer Health Care. Learn about new safety tools and hear from industry leading professionals, including Linda Kenney, Director of Peer Support Programs at the Betsy Lehman Center. 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.