Viewpoint: Rank hospitals by the quality of their end-of-life care

Megan Knowles - Print  | 

Haider Warraich, MD, a fellow in cardiology at Duke University Medical Center, argues in a STAT op-ed that hospitals should be ranked on how well they manage patients' deaths.

Though many people want to die at home, most Americans die in healthcare facilities. Only one-third of U.S. residents with heart disease die at home, according to research Dr. Warraich recently co-authored in JACC.

Physicians and patients may not be on the same page as far as death and dying are concerned, Susan Block, MD, professor of psychiatry and medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the school's Center for Palliative Care, told Dr. Warraich.  

"Patients aren't thinking about things like whether they should get CPR or not," Dr. Block said. "They are thinking of personal values."

Dr. Warraich imagines the following criteria could be incorporated into a death-ranking:

Instead of a separate death ranking, end-of-life care aspects could also be incorporated into existing rankings. 

"Hospitals have few incentives to deliver high quality care to patients when they are dying and face little scrutiny," Dr. Warraich wrote. "That has to change."

More articles on healthcare quality:
Bipartisan bill would require VA hospitals to report serious medical errors
42 states receive 'F' for physician quality transparency
Joint Commission releases 2017 quality, safety report: 3 takeaways 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.