March 14, 2008
Center for Quality and Safety hosts inaugural forum

The MGH/MGPO Center for Quality and Safety (CQS) kicked off the first of its series of quality and safety forums March 10 to a packed conference room in the Richard B. Simches Research Center. MGH managers and leaders, CQS staff and collaborators and members of the Patient Care Assessment Committee gathered for the inaugural meeting featuring David Torchiana, MD, chairman and chief executive officer of the MGPO, and Elizabeth Mort, MD, vice president for Quality and Safety and MGH associate chief medical officer.

Torchiana and Mort each discussed health care transparency in regards to quality improvement and public reporting of outcomes. Torchiana spoke about one of the founding fathers of health care quality and safety improvement, Ernest A. Codman, MD, an early twentieth century MGH surgeon who was a proponent of using outcomes measurements as the basis for quality improvement. Torchiana also reviewed the nuances of reporting outcomes measures and the importance of understanding the methodology and full context behind each measure so that improved health care is the end result. Mort described how the MGH currently is promoting greater transparency with both its new public quality and safety website and internal quality and safety dashboard. The external website, available at, went live in February and is geared toward the informed consumer. The internal dashboard, launched in October, includes the technical details behind quality and safety measures as well as additional metrics beyond what appears on the external website.

The next Quality and Safety Forum will take place April 23 and will highlight safety event reporting with guest speaker James P. Bagian, MD, PE, director of the National Center for Patient Safety of the Department of Veterans Affairs and former NASA astronaut and physician. Subsequent forums will be held approximately every other month and will focus on a specific quality and safety issue. For more information about the forums, contact Akin Demehin, CQS administrative director, at

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