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Defining Quality Overview

Hospitals use several widely accepted definitions to describe healthcare quality.



  • Quality hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission (JC). JC accreditation is a nationwide symbol of quality.  Baystate Health hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission.
  • Quality physicians are board certified in their specialties.



Research and Education

  • Research and education should be a priority of the hospital.  Teaching hospitals tend to have better health outcomes.
    • BMC is the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine and a respected research institution.
    • BMC is a clinical site for nursing as well as many other healthcare professions in western Massachusetts.

Patient Health Outcomes

  • Quality hospitals have a positive record of patient health outcomes, such as:
    • How often the hospital performs a given procedure higher volumes result in more favorable:
      • Mortality rates
      • Complication rates
      • Average lengths of stay

Patient Safety

  • Patient Safety includes interventions put in place to reduce preventable mistakes:
    • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system to order medications, tests and procedures more effectively and accurately.
    • ICU Staffing an intensive care unit staffed by intensivists, doctors and other caregivers with special training in critical care.
    • Evidence Based Hospital Referral - a record of the most experience and best results performing procedures and surgeries or treating conditions.  Medical literature shows the more experience the doctor or hospital has performing a given procedure, the better the results.
  • Baystate Health meets and in some cases exceeds these measures.


Visit our Quality Report to review our quality and safety performance.