Upcoming Webinar Spotlights Ariadne Labs Research on Health Care Expansion

The United States is experiencing rapid growth in health care from mergers, acquisitions and affiliations. Changing health care markets and new payment models have led systems to make these broad, institutional changes to improve operational and financial stability.

Dr. Susan Haas

On September 27, 2018, at 2 p.m., Ariadne Labs researcher Dr. Susan Haas will co-lead a webinar for health systems leaders to explore what happens when systems expand, the ways these changes can put patients at risk of harm and new tools that can help.

Titled “Health System Expansions: Anticipating What Could Go Wrong to Ensure Things Go Right,” the webinar will also feature Dr. Luke Sato, chief medical officer and senior vice president for CRICO/Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions and assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, and Madge Kaplan, director of communications at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and host of the event.

“No one is intentionally putting patients at risk. The key to preventing trouble is to incorporate clinically knowledgeable professionals into the planning process, in order to evaluate decisions through the lens of patient safety,” said Haas. “We have a tool you can start with to get there.”

The webinar will also allow participants to receive Continuing Education Credits (CEUs).

Haas focuses on the risks to patient safety from health care expansion as a part of Ariadne Labs’ CRICO-funded work. Health care system changes—especially when done without focus on the impact to donors and nurses providing clinical care—can lead to disruptions that trickle down to the patient. Institutions are just beginning to shift focus to account for these potential issues, but it is critical to educate health care professionals early and involve their expertise in the merger planning process.

This spring, Haas and co-authors published their research on system expansion in a JAMA Viewpoint. “Expansion is everywhere,” she says. “Everyone is touched. We’ve come to understand that the mechanisms that lead to patient harm are new patient populations, new infrastructure and physicians assigned to practice in unfamiliar settings.”

Webinar participants will learn to understand the ways health system expansion can lead to patient harm, learn two approaches to mitigate the risk and examine two newly recognized areas of patient safety risk. Anyone as part of a health care system (nurses, clinicians and risk or quality professionals, for example) or anyone who has contact with such a system (such as patient or family advocates) would benefit from the webinar.

The panelists will also talk about the new patient safety toolkit, freely available for download and use. In April 2018, Ariadne Labs and CRICO/Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions released the toolkit with the intent to uncover safety considerations and mitigate possible harm before and after an expansion, affiliation or merger.

Haas is an obstetrician gynecologist who has on-the-ground experience in mergers, most recently managing ongoing Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates (HVMA) services at Dedham Medical Associates and planning for staff redeployment out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and into four other hospitals in 2014, and previously leading the expansion of HVMA ObGyn services into Harvard University Health Services in 2013.

Register through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement website.