Massachusetts General Hospital Leaders Share Secrets to Improved Patient Care

Updated on March 12, 2015

Top hospital executives explain narrative model in new STTI book

Hospitals are filled with doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who have the utmost respect for science by nature of their profession. At the illustrious Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), these health care professionals also hold in high regard an art form that may seem less than scientific — storytelling.

Using real stories from MGH that demonstrate clinical practice instead of discussing theory, the authors, all top hospital executives at MGH, address the importance of the use of narratives in their new book Fostering Clinical Success: Using Clinical Narratives for Interprofessional Team Partnerships From Massachusetts General Hospital.

Authors Jeanette Ives Erickson, BNP, RN, FAAN; Marianne Ditomassi, DNP, RN, MBA; Susan Sabia, BA; and Mary Ellin Smith, MS, RN, share their model for creating, embedding, and fostering a narrative culture, ultimately creating a safer environment with improved patient care, interprofessional communication, and patient and staff satisfaction.

Fostering Clinical Success is the only book to provide a road map to integrating a narrative culture into the constantly evolving health care environment. Narratives are an imperative method of developing reflective practice and allow the clinician to debrief, collaborate, and understand their practice and themselves in new ways.

“MGH’s systematic use of clinical narratives has improved patient care and increased patient, family, and staff satisfaction. Used in conjunction with best-practice technical expertise, clinical narratives have become a key component of our evidence-based practice implementation,” said Ives Erickson.

Published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Fostering Clinical Success takes an innovative approach to helping nurses and other clinicians understand and address the new health care environment while staying true to their essential work of caring for patients and their families.

The book is available at

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