Clinician and Staff Peer Support Program

The Betsy Lehman Center is seeking five pilot hospitals to participate in creating a peer support program to help clinicians and other staff deal with medical errors and other unexpected patient outcomes. (The Center is also creating a statewide peer support network for patients and families.) 

Medical errors and other unexpected patient outcomes are obviously traumatizing for patients and families, but clinicians and staff also may suffer emotional or physical distress, believing they have failed their patients as they second guess their own clinical competence. Some even decide to leave their positions or professions. Caregivers are often reluctant to reach out for help following an incident for fear of being stigmatized or of compromising collegial relationships.

The five pilot sites will receive guidance in establishing a hospital-based multi-disciplinary team to oversee program development and implementation, onsite training of peer supporters, among other benefits.

Peer supporters do not participate in quality assurance or root cause analysis, and they don’t address job performance issues, advise on malpractice risk, or provide substance use disorder or violence prevention coaching.

If your hospital is interested in becoming one of the five pilot hospitals, please contact Linda Kenney at Linda.kenney@state.ma.us or (617) 701-8193.