Massachusetts General Hospital Case Study

What is it?
Established in 1998, the Police Action Counseling Team (PACT) program arranges for Massachusetts General Hospital clinical social workers to ride along with Chelsea police officers responding to 911 calls where children are present. In an effort to reduce the effects of trauma, social workers provide immediate, on-scene intervention to children who are victims of violence or have witnessed violence. PACT social workers also work with parents to educate them about the consequences of violence and help them access ongoing medical and mental health care. The social workers are available to Chelsea police 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program is funded by the Massachusetts General Hospital Community Benefit Program.

Who is it for?
Children and their families who have been exposed to violent behavior or traumatic events.

Why do they do it?
Early attention is given to children who experience or witness family and community violence in an effort to reduce the effects of trauma on these children. Ultimately, PACT’s goal is to interrupt the devastating cycle of family and community violence.

Since the program’s inception in 1998, PACT clinicians have served 1,867 children. In FY 2012, clinicians and police officers collaborated on 137 cases involving children exposed to violence. PACT clinicians have participated in police training on topics including police suicide, death notification, and culturally informed interventions with immigrant populations. PACT also participates in the newest police initiative, CASA Divert, a program engaging all community agencies to target domestic violence offenders in the service of the safety of children and families. PACT police and clinical staff presented a half-day conference at Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA, in 2011 to an audience of social work and law enforcement students and local professionals.

Contact: Georgia Green, LICSW
Telephone: 617-889-8543

Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2013 (Revised November 2014)

Infection Control at Massachusetts General Hospital

by Robert S. Huckman and Nikolaos Trichakis


The case explores the challenges facing Massachusetts General Hospital concerning the adoption of a new infection control policy, which promises to improve operational performance, patient safety, and profitability. The new policy requires coordination between different departments within the hospital, namely the Emergency Department, the Infection Control Unit, and Admission Services. Students are initially asked to assess the operational, financial and clinical implications of the new policy. They are then asked to examine different approaches to its implementation.

Objective: The case allows readers to examine a setting where internal coordination across different departments provides significant aggregate benefits for an organization. Coordination in this case, however, also leads to inequitable allocation of costs and benefits across the different departments, which then provides students with an opportunity to explore various implementation challenges and strategies.

Keywords: Safety; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Integration; Health Care and Treatment; Policy; Health Industry; Boston;

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