Are Patients Missing the Most Valuable Quality Data?

Comprehensive quality data in hospitals is severely lacking, and this absence of information is hurting the patient population, according to an Op-ed article in The New York Times by Tina Rosenberg.

While websites like Healthcare Compare, Leapfrog Group and U.S. News' Best Hospitals provide rankings and assign "grades" to hospitals, their rankings include subjective information and focus on certain aspects of each hospital that do not provide an holistic picture of that hospital's quality, according to the article.

The article's author contends data reported on these websites is not information the patient necessarily is interested in seeing or needs to see, and hospital lobbyists are ensuring that controversial statistics and information are kept out of sight. However, the author argues that important, accurate and relevant information needs to be available to healthcare consumers, especially given the high number of reported preventable patient deaths.

Research in the Journal of Patient Safety reported 210,000 detected preventable deaths but estimated preventable deaths that were never reported made the real number closer to 440,000.

More Articles on Quality Data:

Low Number of Quality Measurements in ED Inhibit Quality Improvement
RWJF Releases Tools for Using Data in Local Settings
3 Tips for Communicating Hospital Quality Scores

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