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Commitment to Quality

South Shore Hospital believes that the people of our region should have access to information that will help them make wise decisions about their health care. Public reporting of hospital, home care, physician and other health care provider performance increases transparency and demonstrates accountability to our patients and supporters.

We encourage you to consider these factors when choosing a physician, hospital, and home care agency:

Physician, Nursing and Clinical Expertise

Quality health care necessitates the availability of qualified physicians, nurses, clinicians and support staff who are available to capably address our patients' medical needs and critical care needs.  Each of South Shore Hospital’s medical staff members undergoes a rigorous initial credentialing process before earning privileges to admit their patients to our care.   No other hospital in the region has such a large, experienced, and diversified medical staff.  In addition, South Shore Hospital employs more registered nurses than any hospital in our region.

South Shore Hospital is able to provide the community with advanced levels of care by offering:

  • 24/7 on-site medical coverage in critical care units
  • 24/7 on-site medical coverage for obstetrical patients by board-certified OB/GYNs
  • 24/7 on-site medical coverage for pediatric patients by board-certified pediatricians
  • 24/7 on-site internal medicine hospitalist program to support community-based physicians in providing care to their hospitalized patients
  • 24/7 on-site availability of board-certified surgeons and anesthesiologists
  • A maternal-fetal medicine program staffed by board-certified perinatologists

Clinical Affiliations

South Shore Hospital partners with leading academic medical centers to bring their physician experts to our region.  Examples include:

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Trauma Care: South Shore Hospital is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health as a Level II trauma center.  Our trauma team — comprising trauma surgeons, surgical specialists, emergency medicine physicians, nurses, and additional specialized staff — is ready to respond immediately and work effectively together to provide optimal care to injured patients, from arrival in the ED to discharge from the hospital.  South Shore Hospital is the only Level II trauma provider in Southeastern Massachusetts — including the Cape and Islands.

Maternal and Newborn Care: South Shore Hospital’s maternal/newborn program is licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health as a Level III provider, in recognition of the advanced care we provide to mothers and infants.  Our program features the first and only community-based neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to care for ill or premature infants.  The NICU is staffed 24 hours a day by on-site board-certified neonatologists from Children’s Hospital Boston.

Stroke Care:  South Shore Hospital was among the first Massachusetts hospitals to receive state Department of Public Health (DPH) designation as a provider of primary stroke service.  The designation signifies that South Shore Hospital meets requirements to provide emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients with acute stroke symptoms 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  DPH introduced primary stroke service licensure regulations to assure definitive care for patients experiencing acute stroke symptoms.  The regulations were designed to allow the emergency medical services (EMS) community to identify those facilities equipped to safely evaluate and treat patients experiencing strokes.

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The Joint Commission is the nation’s leading health care accrediting agency.  Its surveyors have exhaustively reviewed every aspect of South Shore Hospital - from patient care to facilities, clinical staff to management.  South Shore Hospital’s acute, outpatient, home health and hospice service are each accredited with full standards compliance, the Joint Commission’s highest possible accreditation.  The Joint Commission publicly releases "Quality Reports" about the organizations it accredits.  The Joint Commission believes that its Quality Reports will help consumers evaluate, compare and select hospitals.  Quality Reports for all hospitals can be found on The Joint Commission's website. 

South Shore Hospital’s Breast Care Center has earned three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) for the hospital’s Breast Care Center, located at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital.  Accreditation is awarded after an evaluation by a physician surveyor who determines whether the center demonstrated compliance with 27 NAPBC standards involving leadership, quality improvement, community outreach, research, and clinical management.

South Shore Hospital’s cancer care program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. Only 25 percent of US hospitals earn Commission on Cancer approval.

South Shore Hospital’s nuclear medicine program has earned three-year accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  A peer-review evaluation was conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.  Accreditation is awarded to facilities that demonstrate high practice standards, highly-qualified personnel and adequate facility equipment. ACR is a national organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists.

South Shore Hospital’s laboratory has earned two-year accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of its recent on-site survey of the hospital’s laboratory. During the CAP accreditation process, a team of nine inspectors and three observers conducted a comprehensive examination of our laboratory’s records, proficiency testing, and quality control procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examined our staff’s qualifications, laboratory’s equipment, facilities, safety programs, performance improvement, competency records, and the overall management of our laboratory.

South Shore Hospital’s research program is accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP).  AAHRPP accreditation affirms that South Shore Hospital’s research program meets the highest ethical and professional standards for quality, effectiveness, and efficiency, while safeguarding public trust and confidence. Accreditation signifies that those who participate in research studies at South Shore Hospital are protected and informed above and beyond already stringent federal, state and local standards. South Shore Hospital is one of only 200 organizations nationwide — and is only the second community hospital in Massachusetts — to earn the distinction. 

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Distinctions and Awards

Many independent third parties have recognized South Shore Hospital for the quality of our care, including:

  • Ranking among the elite six percent of hospitals nationwide having achieved Magnet recognition for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program, one of the highest levels of national recognition a hospital can achieve. The program recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing practice and adherence to national standards for the organization and delivery of nursing services. 
  • Ranked in Top 10 of hospitals in both Boston Metro and Massachusetts by US News & World ReportNationally ranked in diabetes & endocrinology; ear, nose & throat; and urology. Also earned high-performance rankings for cancer; gastroenterology; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology & neurosurgery; orthopedics; and pulmonology.
  • Being named a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement® from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association for demonstrating better overall quality of care and patient results in knee and hip replacement. 
  • Being named to the Top 500 of the 2015 HomeCare Elite™, a compilation of the nation’s most successful home care providers, by Outcome Concept System (OCS).  According to OCS, South Shore Visiting Nurse Association ranks among the top 25 percent of all home health providers.  OCS, maintains the nation’s most comprehensive set of integrated measures, spanning clinical outcomes, financial performance, resource utilization, patient satisfaction, and operational indicators for home health, hospice and private duty agencies.  OCS uses publicly available data to determine the top 25 percent of home care agencies in the United States.
  • Being named a Top Place to Work in Massachusetts in an annual employee-based survey project conducted by The Boston Globe. The Top Places to Work program recognizes the most progressive companies in the state, based on employee opinions about company leadership, compensation and training, diversity/inclusion, career development, family-friendly flexibility, and values and ethics.
  • Receiving “2012 Family Favorite” ranking by readers and editors of the Boston Parents Paper.
  • Earning Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) from the American Association for Respiratory Care as part of a national program to help patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of respiratory care services available in hospitals.  The QRCR program was developed to help patients identify those facilities using qualified respiratory therapists to provide respiratory care.
  • Earning certifications from the American Stroke Association, American Diabetes Association and American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation for the quality of care provided to patients with these conditions.
  • Earning the prestigious InformationWeek 500 Award for the hospital’s technology use.  South Shore Hospital is the only community hospital selected in New England and is among only 61 health care or medical organizations awarded nationally.  Each year InformationWeek selects 500 information technology organizations who demonstrate a pattern of technological, procedural, and organizational innovation.
  • Being recognized as one of the nation’s "Most Wired" according to the results of the 2015 Most Wired Survey by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.  South Shore Hospital was one of only seven in Massachusetts and 220 nationwide to earn MostWired distinction. 

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Our Commitment to Continuous Improvement

South Shore Hospital follows the six aims of improvement in health care (the STEEEP Principles) as detailed by the Institute of Medicine’s Crossing the Quality Chasm.  Our collective goal is to provide care that is:

  • Safe — Avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them
  • Timely —Reducing waits and potentially harmful delays
  • Effective — Providing services based on scientific knowledge to those who would benefit, and refraining from providing services to those not likely to benefit
  • Efficient — Avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas and energy
  • Equitable — Providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location, and socioeconomic status
  • Patient-centered — Providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs, and values and assuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions

To achieve this goal, all who work at South Shore Hospital participate in ongoing and systematic quality improvement efforts.  Our performance improvement efforts focus on direct patient care delivery processes and support processes that promote optimal patient outcomes and effective business practices.

We enhance our performance through peer review, clinical outcomes reviews, variance analysis at both the aggregate and individual practitioner levels, performance appraisals, and other quality improvement techniques.

Nothing About You, Without You

We believe that the key to enhancing quality involves actively engaging patients and families as partners to shape our policies, programs, facility design, and day-to-day interactions.  We are committed to the principles of Patient and Family Centered Care, which has been shown to lead to better health outcomes, greater patient and family satisfaction, and wiser allocations of resources.

Anyone who has received or is currently receiving our care is invited to advise our quality improvement processes.  More information about becoming a patient and family advisor is available here.

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