Let’s say you’re the local Chamber of Commerce exec, or the newspaper editor, or the Chair of the County Commission, and someone points out that your community’s hospital(s) displays substandard quality, based on data the hospital itself had submitted. Think you’d ask for a meeting with the local hospital CEO?
Or suppose you ARE a local hospital CEO, and you’re directed to a new feature on the Commonwealth site, Why Not The Best, where Hospital Compare and other health data are merged with county data and then some 45 different maps are generated. You can compare performance at the county, state and national levels. If you’re not already focused on the quality processes that feed these charts, you might be once you’ve had a look.
At this point, you cannot link through to the individual facility quality information; you’ll still need to build your comparison reports the old-fashioned way. And this tool doesn’t map cost against quality, or cost alone, in ways that can allow purchasers to discern which hospitals/health system services are high performers, and which ones aren’t. But that’s coming, and that’s clearly where these new, visually compelling, data mapping capabilities are headed. And not just for hospitals, either, but for all care delivery professionals and organizations (and health plans, outpatient services, drugs, and devices).
Kudos to Commonwealth and Jaz-Michael King for making this great resource available. It, and related efforts like HealthInsight, are driving health care into an unprecedented era of transparency and accountability.
Then go play a little and see how your community stacks up. You might be pleasantly surprised. Or not.