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.


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"  shaded column to the left, you can learn about some of the many programs now underway in Massachusetts.

Definition of Safety Culture 

 Safety culture is the sum of what an organization is and does in the pursuit of safety.  The Patient Safety Systems (PS) chapter of The Joint Commission accreditation manuals defines safety culture as the product of individual and group beliefs, values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the organization’s commitment to quality and patient safety.

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.

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  • ICU Harm

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  • Airway Safety & Failure to Rescue (FTR)

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