Sigall K. Bell, MD

Director of Quality and Safety Initiatives

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.