The PatientCareLink (PCL) website,
which allows the public to see how each nursing unit in nearly every Massachusetts hospital and the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI) member hospitals are staffed, has been updated with the latest actual staffing reports for FY2018. Budgeted 2018 staffing plans were posted on the site in December of 2018. The constantly changing needs of patients are reflected in the differences between the actual staffing and planned staffing data submissions.
To view the reports, from the PatientCareLink home page, under “Healthcare Provider Data” click on “2018 Reports”
under Massachusetts Hospital Data, Staffing Plans and Reports, or “2018 Reports”
under Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI) Hospital Data.
Visitors can select specific hospitals and see the actual staffing reports for a total of 711 individual units, including emergency departments, at 82 hospitals across the state. Hospitals also explain any significant variation (+/-5%) from their budgeted
staffing plans on the site. This is the 13th year Massachusetts has voluntarily posted hospital staffing information for public access.
“The entire caregiving team is vital to providing safe and high quality care, and PCL’s staffing reports can help patients and families better understand the importance of all personnel involved in their care,” said Pat Noga, PhD, RN, 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 for MA, RI, NH, CT, VT (ONL), and HARI.
“Participating in PatientCareLink
has been a key approach to achieve public reporting of staffing data in Rhode Island,” said HARI Vice President for Clinical Affairs Gina Rocha, MPH, RN. “HARI and our member hospitals are committed to staffing transparency and improving both the patient and healthcare worker experiences.”
The staffing section of the PCL site also contains comments from a number of the hospitals explaining their staffing in greater detail, and multiple years of actual staffing data, so patients and other members of the public can get a sense of just how dynamic patient care is, and how hospitals respond to patients’ changing needs.
Noga also encouraged visitors to explore other areas of the PCL site. Additional postings on the PatientCareLink
website include hospital-specific results on quality performance measures such as falls, pressure ulcers, and certain nationally recognized best practices, as well as data available from Medicare’s Hospital Compare for all hospitals in Massachusetts.
To view a Massachusetts hospital’s performance measures, visit www.patientcarelink.org
and under the “Healthcare Provider Data” tab select “Massachusetts Hospital Data/Individual Hospital Performance Data/Select a Hospital.”
The hospital reports now incorporate data for the period July 2017 – June 2018. In addition to each hospital’s individual performance, the PCL pages also provide a comparison to state “peer” (categorized by bed size) averages.
The PCL site also includes educational materials for caregivers, patients and families, and special sections featuring clinical success stories.
“The entire PatientCareLink
website is a great resource for patients, family members and clinicians,” Noga said. “The comprehensive data and complete openness of the site have made it a highly credible resource for staffing and performance reporting. PCL is also a great tool for learning about healthcare quality and becoming more engaged in your own or your loved ones’ care.”