The California Hospital Association has withdrawn its support for a project measuring the quality of care delivered by hospitals around the state. Could this move prevent consumers from getting important hospital safety information? We discuss hospital ratings, where to find them and what they can tell us.

Betsy Imholz, special projects director for Consumers Union and an expert on health policy
Adams Dudley, professor of medicine and health policy at UCSF in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division
David Perrott, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and chair of the California Hospital Association Quality Committee

  • Jean Smith

    How should the consumer discern whether the hospital treats effectively or is the one people turn to in extremis?

    • Mary LCM

      by making sure the data is risk adjusted

  • Patricia

    If the hospitals and docs disagree with the data, then they should work to come up with what the medical community would view as the right data instead of stonewalling. BTW, many times the hospitals collect the data for their own internal use, just don’t publish it.

  • Sitara7

    As an RN in a frequently understaffed department I wonder if  hospital staffing is ever considered when collecting data on patient satisfaction and safety. I know that when we are short 5 nurses our care is severely compromised and wish that this serious issue be made public for the safety of our patients.

  • Richard

    2 questions. 
    1. Without government support, how can an entrepreneur obtain data from hospitals? Cash? Other incentives?
    2. Where do (your guests) think entrepreneurs fit in this area?

  • M.D., Ph.D.

    The author of the first comment (Jean Smith) raises a very important point: the patients mix of hospitals can vary considerably. University-associated hospitals, hospitals with level 1 trauma facilities, those in more indigent areas, and those hospitals that receive some public funding admit a far sicker group of patients than the “average” hospital. I have a number of questions. Is the data from trauma patients, who in some hospitals be cared for in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU), included in the overall ICU score? Do the majority of obstetrics patients receive routine prenatal or does the majority present to the emergency department already in labor (e.g., “undocumented” women realizing that not only will their delivery be on the public tab, but their kid will automatically be a U.S. citizen)? 

  • Rr

    This was a great talk; one comment is that there already emerging new initiatives that process publicly available health quality-of-care data in interesting ways. is one good example,  they even include in-house statistical factors into some of their scoring (e.g. hospital’s “experience factor” for certain treatments and procedures). Another one is which helps you find and grade individual physicians.    

  • Fdlfjls2

    patients mix of hospitals can vary considerably. University-associated hospitals, hospitals with level 1 trauma facilities, those in more indigent areas, and those hospitals th

  • paganritual

    I had back surgery in 2009 and the outcome was far below my expectations. The doctors made mistakes, didn’t follow the procedures that we discussed and they were dismissive of my complaints of pain and concerns over the changed procedure. It would have been nice if it were easier to find information about doctors and hospitals. I might have chosen a different team of physicians if information about the doctors was available.

  • Sheizein

    I was in a hospital in Mountain View 2 years ago for Pneumothorax. I stayed there 3 days, and met 4 RNs. Only one of them was really nice and sincere, the other 3 were not. One showed me her displeasure when I asked her to do something which was supposed to be done by the NA (nurse assistant). The bureaucracy and hierarchy of the hospital organization really opened my eyes.
    And I bet the nurses have good excuses “We do lot more and get paid lot less compared to the doctors and managers”.
    At night shift, if not prevented by law, they will give more pain killer pills to the patients so they can have a quiet night. My sympathy to them and the patients.

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