Here's an email I sent to our staff today. Also picked up by the Globe. Please check out the site and let us know what you think. Now I can stop posting infection rates on this blog . . . .
Today we start a new experiment, a web site directed to the public called "The facts at BIDMC: We're putting ourselves under a microscope." You can find it on the external BIDMC web site at www.bidmc.harvard.edu/thefacts .
What's this all about? It is our belief that the public deserves timely and accurate information about the quality of care at hospitals. There are other web sites that provide some information; however, most of what is available is not current and is often based on administrative data like insurance claims, rather than on clinical data.
So, we decided to create our own. On this web site, you can see how we rate on certain "process metrics" – for example, how closely BIDMC is following recommended guidelines for treatment of heart attack and heart failure. You can also see how well we are doing in reducing harm to patients – such as our progress in eliminating central line infections. We also show how many times we have done certain kinds of procedures, like bariatric surgery, heart bypass surgery and others.
We show the latest numbers we have for all these metrics. Where national comparisons or benchmarks exist, we compare ourselves to them. Where national standards do not exist or where we think they are not adequate, we show our own goals and how we are reaching them. Where we are not doing as well as we would like (such as with hand hygiene), we show that too.
For each item we post, we try to explain how to interpret and use the numbers. Over time, we plan to add more categories of medical services.
As I noted, this is an experiment, so we also provide a page for reviews and comments. I recognize that this is a new experience for all of us – to have our work so starkly laid out and measured for all to see. I hope you all see this as a valuable tool that helps each of us do our jobs better every day. So please take a look and send us your thoughts.