Director of Patient Safety and Discovery
Sigall Bell, MD, is a physician-researcher, healthcare innovator, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
As Director of Patient Safety and Discovery at OpenNotes at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and co-Director of Research at the national Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement, Dr. Bell’s work concentrates on patient engagement, diagnostic safety, and equity. Her research on open notes is recognized as a “transforming concept” in patient safety and has been cited by the National Academies of Medicine, the National Quality Forum telemedicine diagnostic measures development, and the IHI National Action Plan.
Through several AHRQ grants, Sigall’s research led to the first patient-centered framework for diagnostic breakdowns and demonstrates that health information transparency and the unique knowledge of patients and families can help prevent ambulatory diagnostic safety blindspots.
A recipient of the Arnold P. Gold professorship for humanism in medicine and a contributor to AHRQ medical liability reform grants, Sigall has trained over 1,000 clinician-leaders in medical error disclosure, contributed to national guidelines on transparent communication after harmful events, and co-developed speaking up climate and disclosure climate measures. Having completed a Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education, she designed unique safety curricula in collaboration with patients and families, and continues to teach at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Bell’s research aims to develop the evidence base, systems, and culture to make patient and family partnership in safety an expected, supported, and celebrated norm in medicine. She strives to bring a culture of engagement to pediatric and adult patients, empowering kids and communities for healthier futures. Prior to her work in patient safety, Sigall was an infectious diseases specialist, a 4x NCAA academic All-American, and an inductee to the CoSIDA National Athletic Hall of Fame.