Sturdy Memorial Hospital was first introduced to the CARe Program in September of 2013 by our President Dr. Bruce Auerbach. Our education began with having Dr. Alan C. Woodward speak to our Medical Staff at their Annual Risk Management Seminar. Dr. Woodward described how the Medical Professional Liability landscape was being transformed in Massachusetts and presented the background and accomplishments of the MACRMI/CARe program. He also invited Sturdy to become a member of MACRMI/CARe as one of the pilot sites to help foster the work around communication, apology and resolution. In November of 2013 Sturdy signed on as a Pilot site and began the work of transforming how adverse events are disclosed and managed at Sturdy, in order to achieve the goals of the MACRMI/CARe program.
Over the next year and a half we began slowly rolling out the education on CARe. We have continued to take every opportunity to speak with our Medical Staff regarding communication and how disclosure plays such an important role with patients and families when an adverse event occurs. We recently had a formal education program for the medical staff in March of 2015, presented by Ashely Yeats, MD CMO from Milton Hospital. He shared with us his experience at Milton Hospital in implementing the CARe program.
We utilized the pilot site checklist and reviewed our current policies and practices around disclosing and responding to adverse events. The use of the algorithms and other support literature has been helpful as we go through this process. Our professional liability insurer, Coverys, participates in the CARe Program and has been a very helpful partner as we transition to responding to adverse events using the CARe principles.
We are making progress on identifying potential CARe cases. Over the past six months, we have been reviewing cases where patients may have experienced an adverse event. Based on the criteria for identifying adverse events we have used the CARe algorithm to determine next steps in responding to patients. We continue to utilize our internal peer review system along with our adverse event reporting system to identify cases for further study. We now look at all cases that come to us as potential CARe cases. We have established a core multi-disciplinary team who will try to assure that our CARe cases are handled in accordance with CARe guidelines.
One of our goals is to be able to identify potential cases early on, either while in hospital or shortly after the incident occurred. The goal is to be more proactive in contacting the patients, providers and our insurer closer to the event.
Becoming a Pilot site for the MACRMI/CARe program has provided us with guidelines and helpful resources as we add new protocols and practices to our quality and risk management programs. Even though this is a work in progress, we feel we are headed in the right direction to provide transparency in the care that we deliver to our patients.
Jo Ann Rapoza, RN MSN NEA-BC – Director Quality, Risk and Medical Staff Office
Dianne M. Gustafson - Insurance Manager
Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Attleboro, MA