Our data show that we have made excellent progress in many areas. Hand hygiene is significantly improved over just a few years ago. Perhaps because of this and the hard work of our nurses, physicians, and other clinicians, our rates of hospital acquired infections- catheter associated urinary tract infections in particular, have decreased significantly as well. We have now gone seven months without a hospital acquired pressure ulcer. Do our patients care? Why have other local hospitals not followed us in making their data public? Do they know something that we don’t?
U.S. News and World Report continues to name “Best Hospitals” that the national data reporting system shows frequently as having average performances (see www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html). The last round of awards did begin to generate some conversation among academics about the illogical nature of these awards but the public didn't seem to care. It appears that healthcare organizations keep their “brand” strong or otherwise independent of the evidence.
I believe however that the public is beginning to wake up and so called value-based healthcare will start to get some traction. We can no longer afford the 40% waste in the U.S. system. Please discuss this with your friends. Do you have ideas for helping patients make decisions about healthcare? Please share them.