• Care Quality and Patient Safety

    Dana-Farber is dedicated to safe, effective, compassionate, patient-centered care. Patient safety is at the core of the Institute's mission and vision, and Dana-Farber has been a leader in advancing safe practices and reducing the risk of medical error.

    We aim to create and maintain the world's safest oncology care by continuously reducing the number of errors and injuries.

    This is done through innovations and improvements that focus on:

    • patient and family engagement
    • high-risk medications and treatments
    • effective clinical communication and handoffs
    • information technology
    • service quality
    • clinical operations and
    • a culture that supports continuous improvement and accountability.

    As part of our patient safety aim, we will meet or exceed best-in-class benchmarks in key areas within three years, or create benchmarks where none exist.


    The Center for Patient Safety was created as a laboratory for innovation. Its staff and members seek to reduce the burden of medical injury through an integrated agenda of research, education, and quality improvement. The Center has a special commitment to working with patients and families to ensure safe care.

    Staff and members of the Center provide consultation, mentorship, and facilitation of patient safety projects, working closely with colleagues throughout Dana-Farber, including Quality Improvement and Risk Management, Patient Care Services, Clinical Oncology, patients and families, and others. The Center aims to create a research program that will carry innovation at Dana-Farber to a broad audience.

    • Initiatives
      The Center for Patient Safety has four priority areas: Medication safety, communication and high performance teamwork, diagnostic errors, and infection control.
    • Measuring Patient Care
      Dana-Farber is committed to providing the highest quality of safe, timely, and efficient care to our patients and families. This information in this section provides some information on how we evaluate our performance.
    • Research and Education
      Learn more about some of Dana-Farber's patient safety research initiatives and view the brochure for "The Patient Safety Imperative," a Harvard Continuing Medical Education course co-sponsored by Dana-Farber's Center for Patient Safety.
    • Patient Safety Journey
      Patient safety emerged as a public health issue with the 1999 publication of To Err is Human by the Institute of Medicine. The report brought nationwide attention to the problem of medical error and patient safety.
    • Patient Safety Resources
      A variety of online resources are provided here, including the Patient Safety Rounding Toolkit, which offers organizational assessments, program guidelines, training materials, and other documents and tools to help institutions design and implement a Patient Safety Rounds program.
    • Performance Measures
      Dana-Farber tracks a variety of performance measures to assess patient safety and quality of care, including our performance on Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals and various internal metrics.
    • Our Team
      The Center for Patient Safety brings together clinicians, administrative staff, researchers, patients, and families to promote research, clinical improvement, and education at the Institute and beyond.
    • Contact Us
      Find contact information for members of the Center for Patient Safety.
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  • Make an Appointment

    • For adults:
      877-442-3324 (877-442-DFCI)
    • For children:
      888-733-4662 (888-PEDI-ONC)
    • Or complete the online form.
  • Safety Reporting

    • If you have ideas about how to improve patient safety, or if you noticed something you think is unsafe, please use this form to let us know.
  • Caring for Your Central Line Catheter

    • screenshot from video on central line catheters Central line catheters are used to take blood for tests and give fluids, nutrition, medicines, and blood products during cancer treatment. Find out how to care for your central line catheter through our instruction sheets, video demonstrations and more.
  • Team Training

    • Craig Bunnell, MD, MPH, MBA in the Team Training videoLearn how Dana-Farber coordinates patient care through Team Training, an interdisciplinary approach to delivering safe, high quality, patient-centered care.
  • Oral chemo diaries

    • open pill bottleAre you taking chemotherapy in pill form? These printable diaries can help you keep track of your doses and side effects to share with your doctor.