3 reasons docs, hospitals must publish their own quality ratings

Although some hospitals and physicians are reluctant to publish their quality ratings, those that self-publish the information will find it has the potential to improve healthcare, according to a post from the NEJM Catalyst blog.

Major providers leading the charge on self-publishing quality ratings include New York's North Shore-LIJ Medical Group and Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, writes Ashish K Jha, M.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This trend can help:

  • Create trust: Patients are more likely to trust providers who are upfront about their strengths and weaknesses. Offering this information builds loyalty among a patient population, argues Jha.
  • Improve the culture: When organizations publish quality ratings, physicians will be able to see how patients rate them as well, and improve accordingly, Jha points out. 
  • Provide incentives for more comprehensive ratings: Consumers will have no reason to use ratings from outside outlets such as Yelp if they can get more information from hospitals, and vice-versa, and this competition will spur both camps to provide more comprehensive ratings, Jha writes. For example, last August, Yelp expanded its hospital ratings to include such criteria as doctor communication and emergency room wait times, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Hospitals, meanwhile, increasingly work to leverage online ratings to their advantage.

"The culture of transparency in healthcare is getting stronger, prompted in part by patients' growing financial contributions to their own care and the easy availability of information online," Jha writes. "Therefore, the era of performance data that is hard to find, difficult to understand and not meaningful to patients is likely to come to an end."

To learn more:
- read the post