Milestones in Patient Safety

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a national leader in patient safety. Throughout our history, we have developed and adopted innovations and new technology systems to enhance the safety of our patients. Some of these systems have become national models and have revolutionized the safe care of patients.

The following are just a few of our milestones in patient safety:


BWH is one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to implement Computerized Physician Order-Entry (CPOE). CPOE enables care providers to enter medication or test orders into a computer instead of using a handwritten form. The software also delivers tips, reminders, best practices, and automatic alerts about potentially harmful drug interactions or allergies. Medication errors have been reduced by more than 80% after implementing CPOE.


Mass General Brigham develops Patient Gateway, an online tool for patients to communicate with providers, schedule appointments, request prescription renewals, receive test results, and view health record information. Patient Gateway helps patients take a more active role in their health care and improves the management of chronic conditions.


BWH is one of the first hospitals to track medications up to the point of care for each patient with the implementation of bar-coding and scanning of medications. The hospital’s bar-coding technology has reduced the rate of potential adverse drug events due to dispensing errors by 63%.


BWH launches its landmark electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) to ensure that each patient receives the right medication at the right time. The hospital administers a dose of medication every five seconds – that’s 6.2 million doses each year. eMAR has reduced errors in medication administration by 41%.


BWH adds three new members to its Pharmacy team – robots that prepare potent cancer medications and patient-specific intravenous medication bags and syringes. BWH is the only hospital in the world to have these three types of robots. Together with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, the robots are helping to dramatically improve patient safety and pharmacy efficiency.


BWH begins publishing a monthly newsletter called Safety Matters to share lessons learned from our own patient safety mistakes. Telling these stories is a critical way to educate staff throughout the hospital and prevent such errors from happening again.


BWH has implemented a fully integrated electronic health record to further improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of patient care. Through eCare, each patient will have a single record that can be accessed by providers across the BWH continuum – from primary, specialty, and hospital care to rehabilitation and home care – allowing for efficient, accessible, and coordinated patient care. eCare will help care teams manage high-risk patients, reduce readmissions, and ensure the care provided is safe and effective.

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