The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and the Organization of Nurse Leaders – MA, RI, NH, CT, VT (ONL) and Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts have publicly posted the latest available key national care quality performance measures for both hospitals and home healthcare agencies in Massachusetts on the PatientCareLink (PCL) website. Data from Medicare’s Hospital Compare and Home Health Compare are now available on PCL for 56 Massachusetts acute care hospitals (64 total hospital campuses) and 84 home health agencies from across the state.
Selected nursing-sensitive care measures, most of which are endorsed by the National Quality Forum (NQF), are reported on PCL for 74 Bay State hospitals/campuses. Reported measures include pressure ulcer prevalence, patient falls, and patient falls with injury. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s Oct 2017 latest data refresh for Hospital Compare and Home Health Compare Timely & Effective Care has also been incorporated into the hospital- and home healthcare facility-specific data now live on the PCL site.
To view the updated reports for hospitals, visit www.patientcarelink.org and click on “Healthcare Provider Data” and then “Massachusetts Hospital Data.” and then “Individual Hospital Performance Measures.” Individual hospitals’ reports can be selected from there. To view updated reports for home care agencies, click on “Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts Data” and then “Select an Agency.”
The reports now incorporate the nursing-sensitive measure data reported for the period July 2016 – June 2017. In addition to individual hospitals’ results, the PatientCareLink site also includes statistical appendices, reporting history documents, narrative comments if any were provided, and peer group comparison rates based on hospital size. Statistical appendices are accessible through the link immediately beneath each hospital’s bar charts, and additional comments can be found through the “Click here to read Hospital’s comments” link to the right of a given hospital name. The current Hospital Compare data period is January 2016 – December 2016. Data periods for CMS individual measures can vary slightly. The exact data period for each measure can be found under “Click here to view the data period for each individual measure”
“Massachusetts hospitals are committed to providing the highest quality and safest care possible,” said Pat Noga, RN, PhD, FAAN, Vice President of Clinical Affairs for MHA. “Our hospitals publicly post important quality and staffing data on the PatientCareLink website to offer patients and caregivers alike direct access to this important information, to continually improve care delivery, and to provide additional confidence in the care patients receive.”
Patricia Kelleher, Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of MA, added that the partnership between hospitals and home health agencies on PCL furthers positive working relationships along the entire continuum of care, which can only improve patient safety and quality overall.
“Choosing in-home services can be a daunting task and that’s why we’re proud that the PatientCareLink (PCL) website allows patients and their families to find important quality information for Medicare-approved home health agencies that meet certain federal health and safety requirements,” Kelleher said. “This can assist in finding services that fit each patient’s needs.”
Massachusetts was the first state to voluntarily make hospital staffing and nursing-sensitive quality information public starting in 2006. Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts joined the PCL quality and patient safety transparency effort in 2013.
The PatientCareLink website is a great resource and gives patients an open and transparent view of the hospitals providing them care. In addition to the Hospital Compare, Home Health Compare, and nursing-sensitive measure data, the website also displays unit-specific nurse staffing data for Massachusetts acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals.
Hospitals and home care agencies welcome transparency about their performance when performance measures are grounded in good science and are designed to make fair comparisons across institutions. Publicly reported performance data can offer several benefits, including:
• Offering useful information for making decisions about where to obtain healthcare
• Helping healthcare professionals and institutions improve the care they deliver; and
• Providing extra motivation to improve performance.