Constructive ways to use hospital ratings
Hospitals with unexpectedly low scores, those that received low scores while their market rivals did well, and those that bill themselves as quality leaders should pay particular attention to ratings, said Alicia Daugherty of the Advisory Board Co.
A smart approach is to use the data to look at progress over time, said Carol Cronin, executive director of the Informed Patient Institute. “A site that allows you to look at information for more than one year so you can see trends is a good site,” she said. If a hospital receives poor marks across several categories of care and across several report cards, “then you’re getting a signal,” Cronin said.
Each new review, whether negative or
positive, should be used as a catalyst to engage staff and reinforce the hospital’s own quality and safety goals, said Dr. Rusty Holman of LifePoint. “If you are just responding to the different rating systems without a deliberate and thoughtful strategic plan for quality and safety, you’ll constantly be in a state of crisis,” Holman said.