Campus & Community

Ten physicians awarded grants to focus on patient safety

3 min read

Ten physicians from a cross-section of Harvard teaching hospitals have been awarded a total of $500,000 in grants by CRICO/RMF – the patient safety and medical malpractice insurance company owned by and serving the Harvard-affiliated medical community.

These grants will be used to implement broad-reaching innovations to increase patient safety. In its fourth year of patient safety research funding, CRICO/RMF has focused on diagnostic issues in the ambulatory setting and other issues drawn from analysis of high-severity medical malpractice claims.

Approximately one-quarter of all malpractice cases naming health-care providers insured by CRICO/RMF involve missed, delayed, or incorrect diagnoses, many of which stem from ambulatory care.

Physicians, residents, and nurses from across the Harvard medical community* applied for $50,000 in individual grants. This year’s recipients represent studies from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT Medical Associates, and North Shore Medical Center. This year was the first time grants were awarded to Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and to MIT Medical Associates.

“Our research investments are focused on both the human elements and systems that most impact safe patient care,” said Luke Sato, chief medical officer of CRICO/RMF. “Our goal is to foster new ways to improve systems, processes, and outcomes and promote their adoption and spread amongst the Harvard-affiliated institutions.”

CRICO/RMF provides grants for projects that will advance its mission in assisting physicians in delivering the safest health care in the world. Visit for more information on the CRICO/RMF patient safety grants, or contact Jessica Bradley, grant administrator, at, or (617) 495-5100, ext. 1248.

*Applicants must be employees of a CRICO-insured institution, and/or must receive their malpractice coverage through CRICO. The funding of these grants comes from the board of directors of CRICO, which provides medical malpractice insurance to nearly 10,000 physicians, 18 hospitals, and 227 other health-care organizations affiliated with Harvard and MIT.

CRICO/RMF Patient Safety Research Grant recipients

Arvind Agnihotri, Massachusetts General Hospital: “Error Reduction and Recovery in Cardiac Surgery Through Simulation-Based Teamwork and Communication Training”

Edward Bailey, North Shore Medical Center: “A Communication Model for Responding to Complaints”

Sandra Cremers, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary: “Use of a Valid Risk Assessment Tool Objective and Outcomes Database to Improve Surgical Outcomes and Patient-Surgeon Communications”

Meghan Dierks, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: “Breaking Down the Barriers to Effective Morbidity and Mortality Review”

William Kettyle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Enhancing Medication Safety in the Ambulatory Setting Using Human Factors Engineering”

Jonathan Kruskal, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: “Development of a Comprehensive Computerized System for Communicating and Follow-up of Newly Detected Lung Nodules”

Josephine Lok, Massachusetts General Hospital: “Improving Crisis Control in Surgical and Medical Patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Using Simulation-based Leadership Training”

Eric Poon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital: “Preventing Errors Introduced by the Use of Electronic Prescribing”

Christopher Roy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital: “Improving Physicians’ Awareness of and Communication About Hospital Readmission”

Thomas Sequist, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Brigham and Women’s Hospital: “Improving Follow-up of Positive Fecal Occult Blood Tests”