A year ago, a coalition that included hospitals, health plans, physicians and consumer advocates launched a site designed to help consumers judge the quality of care at California hospitals. The site, CalHospitalCompare.org, measures hospitals on a range of clinical and patient satisfaction measures. However, as the site expands, some hospitals are beginning to back off, refusing to supply information on new categories like the frequency of respirator complications and ICU mortality. Meanwhile, about 35 of the 250 hospitals targeted by the coalition have chosen not to participate in the project, citing, among other reasons, the cost of collecting the data. That being said, other hospitals are using the data as a spur to create quality improvement programs in areas where they're weak.
Actually, I'd argue that having all but 35 hospitals participate is a pretty good track record for the site, given the complex issues involved in public reporting. But report card efforts, ultimately, don't make a lot of sense unless virtually all providers participate--so clearly, this one has a ways to go.
To learn more about the project:
- read this Venture County Star piece
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