The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and the Organization of Nurse Leaders of 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. The PatientCareLink (PCL) website also includes the latest available results for many nursing-sensitive care measures, including pressure ulcer prevalence, falls and falls with injury, for 72 Bay State hospitals.
On PCL, visitors will find CMS’s most recent Hospital Compare data refresh, which included both the agency’s quarterly Timely and Effective Care measures as well as their annual Mortality and Readmissions data. The latest Home Health Compare quarterly data refresh for 90 Bay State home health agencies is also now available on the PCL site. Reported measures include timely initiation of care, patient/family medication education, depression assessment, and more.
To view the updated reports, visit PatientCareLink.org and click on the “Healthcare Provider Data” tab and then either the “Massachusetts Hospital Data” or “Home Health Agency Data” link, then “Individual Hospital Performance Measures” or “Select an Agency.”
The reports now incorporate the National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed nursing-sensitive measure data reported for the period April 2017 – March 2018, annual Hospital Compare readmission and mortality rates for Data Period July 2014 – June 2017, quarterly timely effectiveness of care measures from Data Period October 2016 – September 2017, and a quarterly data refresh from CMS’s Home Health Compare website for Data Period October 2016 to September 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 PCL pages also provide a comparison to state and U.S. “peer” facility averages.
“Massachusetts hospitals are committed to providing the highest quality and safest care possible,” said Pat Noga, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN and 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 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. The PatientCareLink website is a great resource and gives patients an open and transparent view of the hospitals providing them care. The site also includes a wide array of quality and safety information for patients and their families, with sections on participating in your care, Alzheimer’s and related dementias, free educational offerings, Substance Use Disorder information, healthcare planning throughout your life, and more. Unit-specific nurse staffing data is also available on the PatientCareLink site.
Hospitals 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.