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Patient Safety

 "...a Hospital...should do the sick no harm."

Florence Nightingale, Notes on Hospitals, 1859

Patient Safety is about:

  • Eliminating preventable medical mistakes
  • Guarding against the impact of human error
  • Establishing hospital-wide systems to safeguard patients' health and well-being.


Baystate Health emphasizes understanding "why" and "how" events happen, not focusing just "who" caused a particular event.  The Division of Healthcare Quality is responsible for ensuring that Baystate facilities provide the safest treatment possible.  Some patient safety initiatives are:


  • Taking a leadership role in educating Baystate employees to make patient safety their highest priority and to follow nationally recognized patient safety guidelines in all patient interactions.
  • Administering a Safety Reporting System (SRS), a web-based computerized event and near-miss event reporting system.


Baystate Health has joined other Massachusetts hospitals in subscribing to the "PatientCareLink" Continuing the Commitment to Safe Care" initiative. 


Communication, Apology, and Resolution (CARe)

Baystate Health is committed to an open, honest, and transparent environment in which patients and families are promptly notified of unanticipated adverse events.


Baystate Health is a founding member of the Massachusetts Alliance for Communication following Medical Injury (MACRMI).  MACRMI is a Massachusetts alliance of patient advocacy groups, teaching hospitals and their insurers, and statewide provider organizations committed to transparent communications, sincere apologies, and fair compensation in cases of avoidable medical harm.  MACRMI’s two lead health systems—Baystate Health (and community hospitals) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (and community hospitals) have undertaken the implementation of Communication, Apology, and Resolution (CARe) to improve the way we evaluate and analyze unanticipated outcomes in healthcare.  CARe is a quality improvement initiative that represents a new way of responding to medical errors that puts patient needs first. Its goals are to:


  • Improve communication between health care providers and their patients;
  • Determine what went wrong, and, if possible, prevent it from happening again;
  • Offer an apology and work with the patient and family to come to resolution, including offering compensation, if appropriate.


For questions, please contact Risk Management at 413-794-3359.




Patient Safety Articles