Health care facilities across Massachusetts are beginning to ease visitation restrictions that went into effect with the COVID-19 State of Emergency in March 2020. Now they are taking stock of lessons learned about coronavirus transmission, infection control and the effects of having sequestered patients and residents away from family and friends. The pandemic posed unprecedented challenges, but the length and severity of isolation resulting from visitation restrictions was harmful for many. Analyzing recent experience and including patients, families and essential care partners in planning can help limit the consequences from restrictions that may be necessary in the future. 

New survey data from the Betsy Lehman Center add to the growing evidence that talking to a peer helps alleviate the detrimental stresses that clinicians and staff experience after involvement with a difficult event in patient care. The findings are compiled in a new report that describes the impact of such events as well as coping mechanisms used by health care workers. The survey data was collected from seven Massachusetts hospitals working with the Center to build self-sustaining peer support programs in select units where difficult events most frequently occur, such as intensive care units or emergency departments. Linda Kenney, Director of Peer Support Programs at the Betsy Lehman Center, says, “Having local data helps us make the case for peer support programs not only at the pilot hospitals but at health care organizations throughout the state.”

Check out our twitter feed to access a new report on inter-hospital transfers from @CRICOtweet, a case study from the Primary-Care Research in Diagnosis Errors (PRIDE) Learning Network, and research on home care occupational safety and health from @UMassLowell’s Safe Home Care Project. We’re also sharing the National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report from @AHRQNews and the @LownInstitute’s ranking of U.S. hospitals that are best at avoiding low-value tests and procedures. See which Massachusetts hospitals made the list!

Follow us on Twitter @BetsyLehmanCtr to keep up with the latest patient safety news.
Upcoming events

  • Webcast: New AHRQ SOPS® Diagnostic Safety Supplemental Items for Medical Offices. New items are designed to assess the how a medical office’s culture supports the diagnostic process. Program will include results from a pilot test in 66 medical offices. June 2, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Register here
  • Maternal Health Equity Community Town Hall. The MA COVID-19 Maternal Equity Coalition is hosting a town hall to hear about the experience of giving birth during the pandemic and what lessons can be learned. In partnership with the Betsy Lehman Center and the Perinatal-Neonatal Quality Improvement Network of Massachusetts. June 3, 2021, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Register here
  • How Is Telemedicine Working — and Not Working — to Support Diagnosis?The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine will present findings from a project on telediagnosis and invite your reactions, insights and questions. June 3, 4:00 p.m. 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.