The Betsy Lehman Center fosters a statewide program of research, data analysis, and programming that engages and supports health care agencies, providers, and consumers working together to improve patient safety in care settings across the Commonwealth.

About BLC

The Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety is a non-regulatory state agency with a legislative mandate to:

  • Help state health care agencies and providers work as part of a total system of patient safety and meet their responsibilities to keep patients safe;
  • Develop new ways for consumers to be included in a statewide program for improving patient safety;
  • Analyze data and research to support patient safety initiatives;
  • Administer an education and research program to increase awareness about medical error and error prevention strategies for health care professionals, facilities, agencies, and the general public; and
  • Share information about evidence-based practices to enhance patient safety.

The Center was launched in 2004 within the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services and reestablished in 2012 as an independent entity within the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA).

We are named for Betsy Lehman, who was a talented Boston Globe health reporter and mother of two young girls. She died in 1994 as the result of a preventable medical error when she was being treated for breast cancer. Her shocking and tragic death became a catalyst for change in approaches to patient safety both in Massachusetts and nationally.

Today, the Center convenes expert panels and other groups that respond to emerging and persistent safety issues in sepsis care, emergency medicine, cataract surgery, and more. We work with members of the Massachusetts Healthcare Safety and Quality Consortium to oversee a strategic action plan for achieving major gains in patient safety in all care settings throughout the Commonwealth.