The Massachusetts Hospital Association has endorsed an education curriculum for hospital trustees to help them better monitor and advance quality-improvement efforts.
The program was developed in conjunction with the American Hospital Association with support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and will be offered to every hospital throughout New England. An MHA spokesman said there is a cost to hospitals but as the curriculum is tailor-made to fit the needs of individual hospital boards, the cost will vary by location. Those providers whose boards complete the course may become eligible for certain payment incentives as part of the Massachusetts Blues pay-for-performance programs, the MHA also said.
The six-hour curriculum focuses on six key areas for trustees to improve quality: culture, leadership, mission, performance, resource allocation and strategy. A pilot was held at five Massachusetts hospitals starting in October 2007. Of the 91 trustees that participated, 98% indicated they would recommend the program to other hospital boards, according to the MHA. Last year New Jersey enacted legislation mandating at least one full day of education for all new hospital trustees within six months of their appointment to a hospital board. -- by Cinda Becker