of Rhode Island
PatientCareLink is a preeminent healthcare transparency and quality and patient safety website, dedicated to voluntarily providing patients, families and caregivers current and relevant information about the care provided at participating hospitals and home care providers. The website makes it easier than ever for the public to access important quality and safety information from contributing caregivers, and assists patients and their families to become more active participants in the care they receive.
The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), Organization of Nurse Leaders of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut (ONL), were the founding co-sponsors of Patients First – the 2005 groundbreaking healthcare transparency effort to improve patient care quality and safety – as well as the re-branded PatientCareLink website, which launched in 2010.
In 2013, MHA and ONL were joined by the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts (HCA) to expand the scope of PatientCareLink (PCL) patient safety and quality website to include important care quality information from hundreds of home care agencies and providers in Massachusetts.
In 2015, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI) joined PCL. Moving forward, HARI member hospitals will provide their annual staffing plans and reports concurrent with the staffing information filings of Massachusetts hospitals on PCL.
Web visitors will be able to select specific hospitals and see the staffing plans and reports for individual units, including emergency departments, at hospitals across Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Hospitals also explain any significant variation (+/-5%) from their budgeted staffing plans on the site. The link to display the explanation for a +/-5% variation can be found directly under the % Difference calculation by clicking on the “click for additional information regarding +/-5% difference.”
The actual staffing reports can help patients and families better understand how important the entire caregiving team is to safe and high quality care. This section of the PCL site also contains comments from a number of the hospitals explaining their numbers 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.
Nurses are a vital component of the caregiving team. They contribute to surveillance, early detection and timely intervention that save lives.
Effective patient care is dependent on a full team of competent, qualified health care professionals and assistive staff and must be based on the individual needs of each patient and hospital.
In July 2016, HARI-member hospitals started to publicly post the nurse staffing plans for all of their facilities on a unit-by-unit basis to PatientCareLink. Currently, hospitals will post their facilities’ actual 2017 staffing reports as well as their 2018 staffing plans. Participation in PatientCareLink was approved by the HARI Board of Trustees in 2015.