Novant Health is a not-for-profit health care organization serving more than five million residents from Virginia to South Carolina. Their team recently decided to dramatically expand the degree of transparency they provide with regard to clinical outcomes.
Paul Wiles, Novant's President, said to me: "We are delighted that you are willing to let your readers know of our efforts to enhance the field with respect to transparency of clinical information."
If you go to this website and click through the various categories, you will see an honest and open exposition of how they are doing on central line infections, ventilator associated pneumonia, and other important items. They mean it when they say that they are "committed to providing clear, accurate and honest information about the quality of care we offer to all of our patients."
Here's the VAP chart, which is illustrative, too, of the presentation of quite recent data. Why wait two years for national numbers based on administrative data when virtually every hospital collects real-time data on actual clinical outcomes?
Paul continued, "Our latest quarter is now posted. We had some improvements, some the same and unfortunately some declines in our performance. With our results in the public domain we have a real incentive to make our results better."
This view is consistent with what I have said before:
Transparency's major societal and strategic imperative is to provide creative tension within hospitals so that they hold themselves accountable. This accountability is what will drive doctors, nurses, and administrators to seek constant improvements in the quality and safety of patient care.
Congratulations to everyone at Novant for making this commitment. Do I detect a movement? Will the Boston hospitals join in?