Location: Newark, OH Website: www.lmhealth.org What they're doing: LMH, a 227-bed community facility, is a leader in helping consumers take in and understand hospital quality data. One of the big failings of today's quality reporting schemes is that consumers can't make much of it. But Licking executives have worked hard to close the gap. LMH has been voluntarily reporting quality data since 1999, well before health plans and governments began to turn up the heat on such efforts. Starting back then, LMH leaders took the then-radical step of taking out a monthly full-page newspaper ad reporting on their performance on 12 clinical specialties, including cardiology, chronic heart failure, maternity care, respiratory care and diabetes care. Over time, officials have converted the ads into a four-page insert in the hospital's 58,000 circulation monthly newsletter. The newsletter explains key metrics, helping consumers become more comfortable with what they're seeing. When a stat doesn't look good, the hospital generally includes a note explaining what they plan to do to improve their performance. By taking these steps, LMH executives are building trust with consumers in a multi-hospital market offering lots of alternatives. By looking ahead rather than dragging its heels, LMH has performed the admirable feat of turning a painful task into a competitive strength.
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