Quality With Compassion

Clinicians today are under intense pressure to reduce the likelihood of harmful and costly medical errors. Communication lapses are a primary contributing factor in the vast majority of errors, adverse events and close calls.

Schwartz Center Connections® is uniquely designed to reduce the incidence of adverse events by improving communication across specialties in hospital and outpatient settings, improving teamwork and strengthening patient-caregiver communication.


How does the Schwartz Center Connections program work?

The program engages primary care physicians, specialists and their multidisciplinary teams in open, thoughtful discussions about actual cases, which may be drawn from their practices or from closed malpractice claims. A skilled facilitator assists them in identifying the communication lapses at play in the case and ways in which they might have been avoided.

The program meets criteria for risk management continuing education credits for clinicians. Hospitals and outpatient practices are also encouraged to use the learnings from Schwartz Center Connections sessions to inform quality improvement and risk management initiatives.

The program generally includes three sessions, which can be tailored to meet the needs of individual hospitals and outpatient practices. Experienced staff from the Schwartz Center orients and trains the site in implementing the program and preparing for the sessions.


Schwartz Center Connections Webinar

This webinar was presented by Schwartz Center Medical Director Beth Lown, MD. It outlines research highlighting the effectiveness of the Schwartz Center Connections program, as well as how the program aims to: break down professional and interdisciplinary silos, open lines of communication, clarify roles and responsibilities, and improve communication with patients and families.

Additional Resource:


How effective is Schwartz Center Connections?

The Goodman Research Group conducted an independent evaluation in 2011 of the pilot program, conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. The evaluation demonstrated significant improvement in program attendees’ knowledge of communication lapses and strategies to prevent them, compared with those in a control group whose members did not participate in the sessions. Attendees reported being much more likely to intervene to avert a communication lapse after participating in the program.

Boston Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center in New York have conducted the program with support from Takeda Oncology. An evaluation of these sites provides additional support for the program’s effectiveness.

For more information about the Schwartz Center Connections program, please contact Director of Business Development and Operations Lynn Osborn at losborn@theschwartzcenter.org or 617-643-9355.