Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When choosing a hospital for your child or preparing for a visit to Boston Children's, it's only natural that you and your family will have lots of questions. Here are some of the most common questions families ask about our quality of care and patient safety:

Why is it important to measure quality and safety?

We believe measurement is essential for providing world-class care. If we don't track how we're doing, we can't identify areas of care that need improvement. And we can't identify high-performing areas that could serve as a model throughout Boston Children's and the health care industry as a whole. By closely watching our quality and safety outcomes, we push ourselves to get better every day and raise the standard of care everywhere. [back to top]

Are these the only measures of quality at Boston Children's?

No. The measures found on these pages are just a small selection of the quality and safety data collected throughout the hospital. Many clinical departments publish information on quality and safety in their own sections of the website. [back to top]

Do other children's hospitals collect quality and safety data?

Yes, many children's hospitals track and report this type of data. Comparing this data from hospital to hospital can be difficult, however. Some measures of quality and safety aren't evaluated according to clear national standards (such as those set by the federal government or large professional organizations). In those cases, individual hospitals often define, collect and analyze their data slightly differently, making direct comparisons challenging. When we explain our key quality and safety measures, we indicate clearly whether or not the measure can be used to compare our performance to other hospitals. [back to top]

Can families get involved in quality and safety at Boston Children's?

Absolutely. We value the insights of parents, patients and families when it comes to quality and safety. Parents know their child best, and they often have excellent ideas about how care can be improved. We encourage you — as well as other adult family members, and children who are old enough — to voice your observations, opinions or concerns to members of the care team.

You can also become involved through our Family Advisory Council. The council, which is made up of parents and Boston Children's staff members, meets monthly to discuss matters related to the hospital's performance and the patient experience, including quality and safety. For more information on the council and how you can participate, send an email to [back to top]

How can I learn what other parents and patients think about quality and safety at Boston Children's?

Our Center for Families helps you find the information and resources you need to understand your child's medical needs and take part in his or her care. The center can also connect you with other patient families who can share their experience at the hospital and provide additional help and support. [back to top]

Who can I contact if I want more info about quality and safety at Boston Children's?

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our work on quality and patient safety, you can contact us anytime at [back to top]