Lat­est Tru­ven Health anal­y­sis raises per­ti­nent ques­tions, com­par­a­tively speak­ing.

Modern Healthcare - - MODERN HEALTHCARE -

In an era of trans­parency, govern­ment agen­cies and not-for-profit ad­vo­cacy groups are pub­lish­ing a grow­ing amount of data about providers’ per­for­mance on out­comes, qual­ity mea­sures, pric­ing and pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion.

For pa­tients, the re­sults can be con­fus­ing. Rank­ings and let­ter grades only com­pli­cate de­ci­sions about where to go and what to have done, es­pe­cially when those de­ci­sions have to be made in a hurry.

That’s why each year Mod­ern Health­care proudly pub­lishes Tru­ven Health An­a­lyt­ics’ anal­y­sis of the na­tion’s 100 Top Hos­pi­tals. Tru­ven ranks the best-per­form­ing hos­pi­tals on a com­pos­ite mea­sure that in­cludes tra­di­tional qual­ity and out­comes mea­sures plus fi­nan­cial per­for­mance. Shorn of ir­rel­e­vant con­sid­er­a­tions such as rep­u­ta­tion, its anal­y­sis pro­vides hos­pi­tal and sys­tem of­fi­cials with use­ful bench­marks for mea­sur­ing their per­for­mance against peers and against their own pre­vi­ous per­for­mance.

It raises an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion, how­ever, one that is rel­e­vant not only to hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials but also to health­care con­sumers. If di­ag­nosed with a par­tic­u­lar health prob­lem, should a pa­tient rely on the lo­cal hos­pi­tal re­cently taken over by a for-profit sys­tem or go to the re­li­gious-af­fil­i­ated in­sti­tu­tion across town? Does the pres­ti­gious univer­sity med­i­cal cen­ter in the nearby city truly pro­vide su­pe­rior care over a small- or medium-sized sub­ur­ban hos­pi­tal?

For this year’s spe­cial sup­ple­ment, Mod­ern Health­care asked Tru­ven to an­a­lyze hos­pi­tals by own­er­ship type: for-profit, not-for-profit, both re­li­gious-af­fil­i­ated and sec­u­lar, and govern­ment-run. It also asked its an­a­lysts to com­pare hos­pi­tals by cat­e­gory: ma­jor teach­ing, teach­ing, large com­mu­nity, medium-size com­mu­nity and small com­mu­nity.

I think you will be sur­prised by the re­sults af­ter read­ing the fol­low­ing sto­ries by Mau­reen McKin­ney, Mod­ern Health­care’s qual­ity and safety re­porter, and Lola Butcher, a long­time con­trib­u­tor to the mag­a­zine.

Here’s just one ex­am­ple drawn from the find­ings. Church-af­fil­i­ated not-for-prof­its scored the high­est on over­all per­for­mance, ac­cord­ing to the data, McKin­ney re­ports. Govern­ment-run hos­pi­tals had the weak­est per­for­mance. How­ever, while hos­pi­tals in for-profit sys­tems did well on some core in­di­ca­tors such as care for heart at­tacks, cost con­trol and prof­its, they lagged on oth­ers such as pa­tient safety, mor­tal­ity and pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion.

In­tu­itive? Not re­ally. Read on and I think you will find that hos­pi­tal per­for­mance is com­plex, and that com­par­isons such as the ones pre­sented in this sup­ple­ment can be a use­ful guide for fu­ture im­prove­ment ef­forts by hos­pi­tal and sys­tem of­fi­cials, who now must com­pete for pa­tients in an era when qual­ity and cost data are at ev­ery­one’s fin­ger­tips.

Mer­rill Goozner Edi­tor Mod­ern Health­care

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