Sigall K. Bell, MD
Dr. Bell is a healthcare innovator focused on enhancing care through transparent communication, strong safety culture and speaking up, and empowered patient-clinician relationships. Sigall earned her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a fellowship in Infectious Diseases and the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education, both at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). She is now Director of Patient Safety and Discovery at OpenNotes, a national movement empowering patients with their health information, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
As Director of Patient Safety and Quality Initiatives, Sigall’s work at the Institute focuses on developing communication curricula and research strategies for medical error disclosure and prevention, informed consent, and speaking up. She is part of a team that has trained interprofessional clinician-leaders in medical error disclosure across the country. Sigall has participated in several AHRQ liability reform projects focused on national Communication and Resolution programs and involving patients in organizational learning following medical errors, and led a national multistakeholder AHRQ conference focused on the emotional impact of harmful events on patients and families. She serves as Co-Director of Research at the national Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement.
Dr. Bell’s research addresses 3 major areas: patient and clinician experiences after harmful events, organizational safety culture, and patient and family engagement. As a recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Professorship, she has helped develop new metrics to support speaking up in the clinical learning environment. Together with the OpenNotes team, she studies the effects of sharing visit notes with patients through the patient portal on patient engagement and safety. A recipient of teaching, humanism, and innovation awards, her work reaches clinicians, students and trainees, educators, administrators, and patients and families across the country.
- Ottosen M; Sedlock EM; Aigbe AO; Bell SK; Gallagher TH; Thomas EJ. Long-term Impacts Faced by Patients and Families after Harmful Healthcare Events. J Patient Saf. 2018 Jan 17. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000451. [Epub ahead of print]
- Shapiro J; Robins L; Galowitz P; Gallagher T; Bell SK. Disclosure Coaching: An Ask-Tell-Ask Model to Support Clinicians in Disclosure Conversations. J Pat Saf; in press.
- Chimowitz H; Gerard M; Fossa A; Bourgeois F; Bell SK. Empowering Informal Caregivers with Health Information: OpenNotes as a Safety Strategy. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 2018 Mar;44(3):130-136.
- Martinez W; Lehmann LS; Thomas EJ; Etchegaray JM; Shelburne JT; Hickson GB; Brady DW; Schleyer AM; Best JA; May NB; Bell SK. Speaking up about traditional and professionalism-related patient safety threats: a national survey of interns and residents. BMJ Qual Saf 2017 Nov;26(11):869-880.
- Bell SK; Gerard M; Fossa A; Delbanco T; Folcarelli P; Sands KE, et al. A patient feedback reporting tool for OpenNotes: Implications for patient-clinician safety and quality partnerships. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017 Apr;26(4):312-322.
- Martinez W; Browning D; Varrin P; Sarnoff Lee B; Bell SK. Increasing Patient-Clinician Concordance about Medical Error Disclosure Attitudes through the Patient TIPS Model. J Patient Saf 2017 May 10. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000284. [Epub ahead of print]
- Langer T, Martinez W, Browning DM, Varrin P, Sarnoff Lee B, Bell SK. Patients and families as teachers: a mixed methods assessment of a collaborative learning model for medical error disclosure and prevention. BMJ Quality & Safety, 2016 Aug;25(8):615-25.
- Etchegaray JM, Ottosen MJ, Aigbe A, Sedlock E, Sage WM, Bell SK, Gallagher TH, Thomas EJ. Patients as Partners in Learning from Unexpected Events. Health Serv Res. 2016 Dec;51 Suppl 3:2600-2614.
- Plews-Hogan M, May N, Owens J, Ardelt M, Shapiro J, Bell SK. Wisdom in Medicine: What Helps Physicians After a Medical Error. Academic Medicine, 2016 Feb; 91(2):233-41.