The budgeted FY2019 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 “2019 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 80 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 13th year Massachusetts has voluntarily posted hospital staffing information for public access.
Through PatientCareLink, hospitals are also committed to filing their actual staffing 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 FY2018 are expected to be posted in the spring of 2019.
“For 13 years, 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) and Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI). “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, family members, loved ones and caregivers alike an open and transparent view of Massachusetts hospitals’ staffing and quality endeavors and outcomes.”
“HARI and member hospitals are committed to staffing transparency and improving the patient and healthcare workers’ experience,” said Gina Rocha, MPH, RN, Vice President of Clinical Affairs for HARI, which also posted FY19 staffing plans for its member hospitals. “Participating in PatientCarelink provides patients and members of the public a sense of just how dynamic patient care is and how hospitals respond to patients’ changing needs.”
Patient outcomes such as fall rates, pressure ulcer rates, and selected Hospital Compare measures are also listed on PatientCareLink under Performance Measures. The comprehensive data and complete openness of the site have made it a highly credible resource for staffing and performance reporting.