Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunshine in Worcester

Douglas Brown writes an important op-ed in today's Boston Globe about the experience of his hospital with public reporting of clinical outcomes. His conclusions are below. Please note again: Transparency is not about competition. Is about each institution making itself better and safer, and sharing what is learned across the health care system.

What have I learned?

First, public reporting works. It created a strong incentive to improving our quality. Second, responding to the crisis transparently, while more risky, was the right thing to do. At times, even lawyers must lean into the discomfort of transparency. It was the best course for our patients, our staff, and our community. Finally, humility saves lives. There is nothing more humbling than having to suspend a program. But it taught us to never accept the status quo, to know we can always get better, and to highly value a culture of learning and continuous improvement.


Anonymous said...

As a patient, it is really great to see this movement catching on.

Anonymous said...

When patients and doctors habitually engage in conversations about hospital safety, we'll know that we have made real progress. A conversation on WBUR this morning with Terry Francona on hospital-acquired infections:

Anonymous said...

To be nitpicky, statistics on cardiac surgery outcomes and on survival of patients who have had a heart attack are not the same statistics. However, it appears that in fixing the surgery outlier issue, the hospital addressed the larger issue of care of heart patients in general, thus affecting the heart attack survival rate, I would assume. Anyhow, it all worked, so good for them!