Check out the differences in hospital quality across Massachusetts
December 3, 2012 in Quality of care
UPDATE: There were errors in the initial posting of our pneumonia quality numbers. We apologize for misrepresenting the quality of care for hospitals that looked worse than others in our original post.
Everyone seems to be talking about the “engaged” patient. Have you noticed? Fine, except there’s stunningly little information about health care with which I can engage.
Some of you are paying attention to how much your MRI or stitches or surgery costs. Tracking down the costs is hard. But try asking about the quality of that test or repair or the normal birth of a baby? Not only is the information hard to find, in many cases it doesn’t exist. It’s just amazing that I get a blank look when I ask, who does the best job with knee surgery or removing a gallbladder or a colonoscopy?
Hospitals say they are making great strides in gathering quality information. That’s great, but turning it into information we, consumers, can use still has a long way to go. And figuring out which doctors do a better job than their colleagues is nearly impossible to determine, expect by word of mouth.
We’re hoping to kick off a broad discussion about where to find the best care, starting with this snapshot of hospital quality in Massachusetts. The scores and ratings you see on the map and bar chart below are not new. This is all public data, collected by private, state or federal agents and posted online somewhere else. We’re pooling a range of quality measures here to offer you a glimpse of how much quality varies from one hospital to the next and to give you a place to ask your questions about what the health care system will and won’t tell you about quality and why.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, let us know. We are putting readers on notice: this the quality information that is available. We don’t think it’s good enough. Many hospitals agree. We all need to push for more. In the meantime, tell us what other quality information you’re looking for. We’ll see if we can help or let you know why we can’t.
Here’s a HUGE thanks to Dianne Finch who created the map and bar chart and to Ted Natoli who collected and packaged the data for this project.