Our Value: For Patients

 

The Partners HealthCare system helps us improve our understanding of the patient experience, and pinpoint the best ways to deliver effective, integrated care, where and when it makes the most sense.

Here are a few of the ways in which the Partners system improves our patients' care experiences:

 

 

Better Outcomes

By collecting outcomes data system-wide, we have access to the information we need to shorten hospital stays, lower the rate of readmissions, and deliver treatment with fewer complications – all of which makes for a faster road to recovery. And faster recovery is the key to delivering a better patient experience.

Coordinated Health

Data-sharing tools like our electronic health record system, Partners eCare, allow us to better coordinate care across the entire spectrum – from primary care to lab work, imaging studies, and specialist referrals. That can improve communication, reduce errors, increase transparency, and lead to a better overall patient experience. Other innovations that are improving coordination include our eConsults program, which makes it easier for primary care physicians to work together with specialists to determine the most effective treatment plan for their patients.

Keeping Patients Safe

Patient safety is a top priority at Partners. The data we collect across the system helps us improve safety protocols, leverage technology to reduce risk, and provide the right training to the right staff. Here is just an example of our commitment to improving safety:

Flu Vaccinations: The Partners system successfully implemented a requirement during 2018-2019 for flu vaccinations for all of its employees. This system-wide requirement applied to all employees, including those not at hospital sites. Consistent with state regulation, employees were allowed to apply for medical and religious exemptions. As a result of this new Partners requirement, more than 10,000 additional employees were vaccinated. The average vaccination rate of Partners' hospitals is 98.2%, compared to 90% during the prior flu season; 1.7% of employees received exemptions, with 0.63% medical and 1.07% religious. The average vaccination rate for hospitals in Massachusetts last year was 92% with a range between 77% to 98%.

Care for the Whole Patient

The Partners system delivers primary, specialty, and rehabilitation care in a single network. This makes it possible for us to bring a whole-patient perspective to the way we deliver and manage care, which helps reduce complications, avoid hospitalizations, and keep patients healthier longer. Our Integrated Care Management Program, which matches nurse care managers with high-risk, chronically ill patients, is a great example of this whole-patient perspective in action.

Focusing on the Full Patient Experience

In addition to measuring outcomes, we regularly survey our patients to learn more about their specific experiences at Partners institutions – including how well we communicated with them as their caregivers, how well doctors coordinated their care, and how timely their care was. We’ve found, however, that one measure is particularly illuminating: how willing are patients to recommend their hospital to family and friends.