Dr. Toby Cosgrove: Transparency in Healthcare is "The Right Thing to Do"

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Being transparent with patients is critical for driving improvement in outcomes through data review and patient engagement, Toby Cosgrove, MD, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, wrote in a commentary as part of the Learning Health System Commentary Series of the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care.

Dr. Toby Cosgrove is CEO of Cleveland Clinic.Dr. Cosgrove encouraged hospitals to provide patients easy access to their medical records, outcomes data and physicians' industry relationships, among other information. This transparency will help patients make better-informed healthcare decisions and help clinicians identify and address opportunities for quality improvement, he wrote.


Dr. Cosgrove shared specific examples from Cleveland Clinic. For example, in response to higher complication rates and lower long-term survival of heart surgery patients who received blood transfusions during surgery, Cleveland Clinic adopted strict guidelines on transfusions. The system also implemented several transparency initiatives, including monthly outcomes reviews, which led to a reduction in cardiac surgery mortality rate from 3 percent to 1.5 percent from 2008 to 2012, compared with the national average of 4 percent, according to the commentary.

"As healthcare moves from a system that rewards volume (by paying for every procedure) to one that rewards value (by paying for outcomes), transparency is not only the right thing to do, but also the pragmatic thing to do," Dr. Cosgrove wrote.

More Articles on Transparency:

Moody's: CMS Price Transparency Report Has Long-Term Implications for Hospitals
5 Must-Haves for a Hospital Patient Safety Program

The Secret to a High Reliability Healthcare Organization

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