The Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality today released two new reports on Serious Reportable Events (SREs) and Healthcare-associated Infections (HAIs) in Massachusetts. Chapter 305, the 2008 cost and quality law, mandates these annual reports. The first SRE report was issued last year. Today’s HAI report was the first one to be issued. Both reports have information on individual hospitals. The reports were released during today’s Public Health Council meeting.
Learn more about the reports at an event coordinated by HCFA taking place tomorrow, Thursday, April 15, 11:00am, in Hearing Room A-1 at the Massachusetts State House. The event is co-sponsored by Senator Richard Moore (D-Uxbridge) and Representative Denise Provost (D-Somerville).
In 2009, acute care hospitals reported 383 SREs. The hospitals reported 434 infections (of the subset of infections that are currently being reported) that occurred between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009.
The hope is that public reporting of quality measures serves to both inform consumers as they make health care choices and inform hospitals as to where they may have to put extra effort to make improvements. At today’s Public Health Council meeting, it was mentioned that two hospitals that had higher-than-expected infection rates for particular infections (when compared to national data) recognized that they needed to focus on improvements in those particular areas and were able to bring their rates down to zero for many months. As each year’s reports are issued, we hope that all hospitals show decreases in infections over time. The Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council has set a goal of zero infections, and we look forward to seeing hospitals move toward that goal.
-Deborah W. Wachenheim