The budgeted FY2018 staffing plans for each unit of nearly every hospital in Massachusetts are now posted on the PatientCareLink (PCL) website. From the PCL home page (www.patientcarelink.org), click on “2018 Plans” under Massachusetts Hospital Data/ Staffing Plans and Reports to view the latest plans.
Web visitors can select specific hospitals and see the staffing plans for a total of some 710 individual units, including emergency departments, at 83 hospitals/campuses across the state. The budgeted plans also show descriptions of the type of care provided on the various units, team members who support patient care, and any changes in the types of patient care units from year to year. This is the 12th year Massachusetts has voluntarily posted hospital staffing information for public access.
Through PatientCareLink, hospitals are also committed to filing their actual staffing plans from the previous year and explaining what actions were taken if there is a significant variation (+/-5%) from the budgeted plan. The actual staffing and variance from budgeted data for FY2017 are expected to be posted in the spring of 2018.
“For more than a decade, these staffing plans have been publicly available to help patients and families better understand how hospitals design staffing assignments that include entire caregiving teams to ensure safe and high quality care,” says Pat Noga, RN, PhD, FAAN, Vice President for Clinical Affairs at the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), which co-sponsors the PatientCareLink site along with the Organization of Nurse Leaders – MA, RI, NH, CT, & VT (ONL), the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts (HCA) and Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI). “Patients can also review how individual hospitals’ plans correlated to their actual staffing in earlier years, which gives patients and members of the public a sense of just how dynamic patient care is and how hospitals respond to patients’ changing needs. Massachusetts was the first state to voluntarily make such unit-specific staffing information public, and the PatientCareLink site is a great resource that provides patients, patients’ families and caregivers alike an open and transparent view of Massachusetts hospitals’ staffing and quality endeavors and outcomes.”
Patient outcomes such as fall rates, pressure ulcer rates, and Hospital Compare measures are also listed on PatientCareLink under Performance Measures. In addition, the site now includes important quality-of-care information from nearly100 home care agencies and providers in Massachusetts. The comprehensive data and complete openness of the site have made it a highly credible resource for staffing and performance reporting.