Improving Patient Care

Massachusetts healthcare providers are continually working to provide the safest possible care, and place a high priority on making performance measures transparent. These measures include patient falls, pressure ulcers, and healthcare acquired infections. Healthcare providers create innovations and "best practices" that enhance excellence in patient care.
Improving Patient Care


Hospitals and other healthcare interests are performing very targeted interventions in specific areas to improve the health of the patients and communities they serve. By clicking on each item under the "Improving Patient Care" green column to the left, you can learn about some of the many programs now underway in Massachusetts.

Much of the patient care improvement work now underway at Massachusetts hospitals is coordinated through two major initiatives - the MA Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) and the Statewide Improvement Performance Agenda (SPIA).


MA Hospital Engagement Network (HEN)

The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) is serving as a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN), as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Partnership for Patients (PfP) Campaign. MHA is one of 34 hospital associations working with The Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET), an affiliate of the American Hospital Association (AHA), awarded a three-year contract by CMS. During the first phase of the contract 30 hospitals joined the HEN initiative, committing themselves to work on reducing hospital acquired conditions and reducing readmissions.  In January of 2014 21 hospitals continued thier commitement with the MA HEN.MHA is leading this initiative for hospitals across the state, which have committed to join the HEN through AHA's HRET.

Healthcare Acquired Infections

Healthcare acquired infections (HAIs), also known as nosocomial infections, are infections that patients get while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions. HAIs occur in all settings of care, including hospitals, surgical centers, ambulatory clinics, and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.


"Readmission" occurs when patients who have had a recent stay in the hospital go back into a hospital again. Patients may have been readmitted back to the same hospital or to a different hospital or acute care facility. They may have been readmitted for the same condition as their recent hospital stay, or for a different reason. Often referred to as "rehospitalization."

Pressure Ulcers

A pressure ulcer or bedsore is an injury to the skin or underlying tissue usually over a bony protruding area of the body. Pressure ulcers can range in severity from minor skin reddening to deep wounds. Factors that cause pressure ulcers are unrelieved pressure on the skin, or slight rubbing or friction on the skin.

Patient Falls

The National Quality Forum (NQF) defines a fall as an unplanned descent to the floor (or extension of the floor e.g., trash can or other equipment) with or without injury to the patient.

Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence (HPOE)

HPOE provides field-tested practices, tools, education and other networking resources to accelerate performance improvement in the nation's hospitals. HPOE's fundamental principles support the Institute of Medicine's Six Aims for Improvement- care that is safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered (STEEEP).