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Excellence Every Day represents an MGH commitment to providing the highest quality, safest care that meets or exceeds all standards set by the hospital and external organizations.
Collaborative Governance Magnet Recognition Regulatory Readiness Innovation Units

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A focus on disabilities–creating a welcoming and accessible environment for all

New Adaptive Call Bells
Pushing a call bell can be a nearly impossible task for many patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, injuries to the arms, or visual impairments.

click here to view adaptive call bells

Last year, the Office of Patient Advocacy, Inpatient Occupational Therapy and Materials Management sponsored a pilot of several alternate call bells. The devices were trialed on Lunder 7 (Neurology), Bigelow 9 (Respiratory Acute Care) and Ellison 14 (Burn and Plastic Surgery). Based upon feedback and data collected from each unit, patients and nurses preferred the "Big Red" and "Jelly Bean." The Jelly Bean call bell was found to be particularly useful to patients with ALS and minimal movement of their extremities. Big Red was especially helpful to patients who were intubated, providing easy access use and good visual. Both call bells were subsequently added to an already comprehensive inventory of adaptive call bells available throughout the hospital.

The hospital also successfully piloted Locline, a mounting devise that features two feet of tubing with a clamp on one end that clips to a surface and a mounting disk on the other end. Call bells can be attached to the mounting disk with Velcro and a hook. Locline can also be used to attach ipads, phones or anything the patient has difficulty holding.

To request adaptive call bells and Locline, contact Costumer Service at x6-9144. For a list of adaptive call bells visit the Accessibility
Resource Site
(internal access only) under Partners Applications or email

Adaptive Exercise
Adaptive exercise equipment was showcased at the September 10th Accessible MGH celebration. Cliff Seeto, general manager of The Clubs at Charles River Park (CCRP), has worked closely with Disability Services to make the gym as user-friendly as possible for everybody.

"We hope that purchasing these machines will not only benefit people with disabilities," says Seeto. "They can be used by seniors and help people after physical therapy for further rehab to slowly build themselves back up. It allows people to be independent and feel comfortable here. Our staff is very sensitive and aware of accessibility needs, and they are always willing to help people who come through the doors."

CCRP has eight machines that are adaptable for users with physical disabilities. The seat can be moved aside for wheelchair use, and the handlebars are adjustable as well. CCRP has ramps and recently added a lift for further accessibility, and staff are working on adding an adaptable rowing machine. Visit CCRP at 10 Whittier Pl, Boston, and try out these new machines. For more information contact Cliff Seeto at 617-724-2884.

ACCESSIBILITY RESOURCES at MGH (internal access only)

Accessibility Resources
when caring for a patients with a disability

MGH has launched the MGH Accessibility Resource Site (a.k.a. MARS) as a part of our commitment to meeting the needs of our patients with disabilities. This site is designed as a one-stop site where you can access all resources and equipment available for patients and families with disabilities. It includes a search engine where you can search for certain specialty equipment such as adaptive call bells, portable lifts, and hearing amplifiers. The site also includes a ‘Learn About’ section on how to best accommodate a variety of disabilities, an FAQ for employees with disabilities, and links to a variety of internal and external sites at MGH.  This site is a perfect complement to the ‘Excellence Every Day Disabilities’ portal which has a wealth of information including policies, updates, calendar of events, and news articles.  
This is a new site and there is always room for improvement so if you would like to see additional information included in the site please send an email to

MGH Access-ability logo

Improving access-ability
Approximately one in five Americans has a disability, and that prevalence will likely increase as the population ages. Joining with BWH and the Boston Center for Independent Living, MGH is involved in a major initiative to improve access and care for people with disabilities. The effort focuses on employee awareness and education, the physical environment, patient services, and equipment. read more...

The Council on Disabilities Awareness (CDA) was formed in 2003 to help the hospital address the many and diverse needs of Mass General staff, patients and families, and visitors with disabilities. Its mission is clear:  to advise, challenge, and engage the Mass General community in moving beyond the mandates of compliance to create a welcoming and accessible environment for all. read more...

Background on Accessibility Initiatives at MGH

The MGH Disability Program...

Patient Information Card




Policies, Procedures & Guidelines:
(ellucid: internal access only)

Care of Patients with Disabilities

Sign Language Interpreters

Service Animals

Council on Disabilities Awareness :
Meets Quarterly
(Sweet Conference Room, Bigelow 4, from 11:30am to 1pm; lunch provided at 11:30am with the meeting starting promptly at 11:45am )

  • Tues., Dec. 8, 2015
  • March 8, 2016
  • June 28, 2016
  • September 13, 2016
  • December 13, 2016

Employees with Disabilities Resource Group (EDRG)
launched in October 2011, the EDRG provides networking opportunities, social connection and collaboration to MGH employees.

2015 Meetings (held noon - 1pm):

  • Thurs., Oct. 29
    (Yawkey, 2-210)

For more information, please email





Educational Resources at MGH

Disabilities Training Sessions (Background)

HealthStream Offerings:
(internal access only)

MGH Contacts:

MGH Council on Disability Awareness
Fred (Alfred) White, Chair
Operations Manager, Clinical Support Services, Department of Radiology
(617) 726-3066

Sheila Golden-Baker, Cochair
Clinical Educator, Norman Knight Nursing Center for Clinical and Professional Development

MGH Office of Patient Advocacy
Wang Ambulatory Care Center Lobby, Room 018
8:30am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday
(617) 726-3370

Zary Amirhosseini, MEd
MGH Disability Program Manager
(617) 726-3370 or (617) 643-7148

MGH Employee Disability Group
Linda Akuamoah-Boateng, BSPT, MHA, CPHQ, Chair
Project Manager, Patient Care Services Quality and Safety
(617) 643-2886



Joint Commission logo

For many patients, communication may be inhibited by language differences, hearing, visual or cognitive impairments, health literacy, or other disabilities. The Joint Commission has new and revised requirements to improve patient-provider communication that will increase quality and safety through effective communication, cultural competence and patient- and family-centered care. Read more about the eight new and revised elements of here

Magnet Recognition

Magnet_logoThe American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) requires Magnet-designated organizations to track nationally-benchmarked nursing sensitive indicators (NSIs) to continually inform improvement efforts related enhance patient outcomes. Examples of NSIs include, but are not limited to: patient falls, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, blood stream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and restraint use.

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There are numerous terms and acronyms in healthcare that may be unfamiliar. Please click here to visit a Glossary of Terms that may be helpful. And please email any suggested additions.

This month's featured term: Service Animal | Click here for more information on hidden disabilities

A service animal is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. All entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals.

Some examples of tasks that service dogs provide include: Guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed  medications  and calming a person  with post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack.
Individuals with mental disabilities who use service animals that are trained to perform a specific task are protected by the ADA. The rule permits the use of trained miniature horses as alternatives to dogs, subject to certain limitations.
Dogs that are not trained to perform tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including dogs that are used purely for emotional support, are not service animals.

Service Animal Policy (ellucid: internal access only)

Accommodation and Compliance Series: Service Animals in the WorkplaceJob Accommodation Network (JAN)

Disability Rights Section: Service AnimalsDepartment of Justice (DOJ)

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA

National Education for Assistance Dog Services, also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans (NEADS)

Excellence Every Day represents an MGH commitment to providing the highest quality, safest care that meets or exceeds all standards set by the hospital and external organizations.

If you have questions or suggestions related to the EED portal, please contact Georgia Peirce at (617) 724-9865 or via email at


updated 10/13/15

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