Improvement Stories

Patient Safety Awareness Week: At MGH, It’s the Week that lasts all year…


At Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), we focus on patient safety every day and with every patient encounter, but every year we pause to celebrate our extraordinary staff and sponsor educational programs which highlight key safety themes. In addition, we celebrate Patient Safety Stars - individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond to advance patient and staff safety. This year's National Patient Awareness Safety Week (PSAW) was March 10th - 16th.

Since 2010, MGH has taken time during PSAW to honor more than 450 individuals as Patient Safety Stars. Awardees have demonstrated an exceptional personal commitment through the year to making patient care safer and more effective. This year, we honored 10 teams and 35 individuals as stars. The awards were presented at a breakfast held on Monday, March 11th, to kick off a week of activities designed to raise awareness of safety issues and to recognize the commitment of MGH staff members to improving patient care.

Peter Slavin, MD, President of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Elizabeth Mort, MD, Senior Vice President of the Center for Quality and Safety at MGH and the MGH Physician Organization, joined other leaders in congratulating the awardees and celebrating their commitment to patient safety. Jana Deen, RN, JD, Associate Chief Patient Safety Officer at MGH, says the event honoring MGH's Patient Safety Stars is an annual touchstone, her "favorite day of the year."


Teams from Pediatrics received four of the 10 Patient Safety Star team awards presented during Patient Safety Awareness Week. Keeping our patients safe from infections is always a priority. Our pediatric units, the PICU, NICU, and Ellison 17 & 18, all put in place practices to prevent these infections and went CLABSI-free for over 365 days! Representatives from the Pediatric Units are shown above (l to r) Margaret (Peggy) Settle, RN, PhD, NE-BC; Carolyn Bleiler, RN, MSN; Kim Francis, Ph.D, RN, PHCNS-BC; Arlene Kelleher, MS, RN, NE-BC; Lori Pugsley, RN, BSN, Med; and Phoebe Yager, MD.

Thirty-five individuals received Patient Safety Star awards this year, including Illuminata Dellaira, one of the first patient care observers designated to the Emergency Department, shown with Trustees Pam Reeves and Cathy Minehan, as well as Elizabeth Mort, MD and Peter Slavin, MD.

We had four wonderful presentations during the PSAW celebration. On Tuesday, March 12th, MassGeneral Hospital for Children sponsored “Patient Safety, Quality and Experience… where do they intersect?” as its Pediatric Grand Rounds, presented by Dr. Fiona H. Levy, Executive Director of the Sala Institute for Child and Family-Centered Care and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Pediatrics, Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone Health. Also on Tuesday, Patient Care Services sponsored “Evidence-based Fall Prevention: Translating over a Decade of Research into Practice,” presented by Dr. Patricia C. Dykes, Program Director, Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

On Thursday, March 14th, Anesthesia, Surgery, and Perioperative Nursing sponsored "10% Happier Healthcare Teams: A Patient Safety Strategy," as its Anesthesia/Surgery Grand Rounds, presented by Dan Harris, Correspondent, ABC News and Co-Anchor, Weekend Edition of Good Morning America. Additionally, the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety sponsored a keynote address "Organizational Grit," presented by Dr. Thomas Lee, Chief Medical Officer, Press Ganey.




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