Hospital Quality and Safety Data: Why it Matters
Public interest in the quality and safety of patient care continues to grow. Hospitals welcome transparency about their performance when performance measures are grounded in good science and are designed to make fair comparisons across institutions. Performance data can offer several benefits:
- Useful information for making decisions about where to obtain healthcare
- Performance measures help healthcare professionals and institutions improve the care they deliver
- Transparency about performance provides extra motivation to improve.
Reviewing the Glossary of Healthcare Terms might be helpful in understanding some of the PatientCareLink data.
The Hospital Performance Measures You'll Find Here
PatientCareLink provides several kinds of data about hospital performance that can help the public make decisions and help hospitals make their care even better. The performance measure data presented here include measures selected from nationally and internationally trusted sources, including the National Quality Forum (NQF).
Performance data included here cover:
- Hospital nurse staffing, both planned and actual, by day of the week and work shift
- Nursing-sensitive clinical performance measures of how well hospitals prevent pressure ulcers, patient falls, and patient falls with injury
- Measures that reflect how reliably hospitals deliver the kinds of care that have been demonstrated to improve the outcomes of patient care for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care
Elsewhere on PatientCareLink (see About PatientCareLink and For Patients and Families) you can find links to other useful information on the quality and safety of hospital care, along with information about what patients and families can do to help improve the care they receive and to take greater control of their health and healthcare decisions.
A Note on Data Accuracy:
Hospitals were trained in the nursing-sensitive measure specifications and data collection and reporting requirements. Most hospitals reported data for a pilot test conducted in the spring of 2006, where they had the chance to apply their training and develop their data collection systems. The hospitals have provided signed statements that they have complied with the reporting specifications.
Nonetheless, it is possible that reporting errors have occurred or that reporting errors were not identified by a hospital until after the database was closed to reporting to permit preparation of the website and related analyses. Readers should review the hospital comments that accompany the data and that are accessible through a link on their data page to see if the hospital has identified any data accuracy issues.
As hospitals continue to gain experience with collection and reporting of this data, the accuracy and reliability of the data will continually improve. Any corrections of data that are reported to us for the period covered in the data display will be corrected when that data is combined with data for subsequent periods and updated on the website.
The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association (MHA) and the Organization of Nurse Leaders of MA, RI , NH, CT, VT (ONL) facilitated the transmission and display of hospital reported data. Neither organization is responsible for any error in the data submitted.