"We are far more focused on comparing our hospital to our academic medical center counterparts across the country," she said.
Some of the numbers in the report are skewed, depending on the volume each hospital treats, and Masheter said that when a hospital has treated fewer than 30 patients in a category, the numbers in the report might not be all that reliable. Ratings of "better" or "best," she said, are "right where hospitals should be."
"These ratings are part of the conversation that we need to be having," Masheter said. "These numbers need to be out there. Everything has always seemed to be done in the dark."
The UDOH, with guidance from its advisory panel, the Health Data Committee, has released hospital comparison reports since 2005, as mandated by the Health Care Consumer Bill, SB132.
The greatest benefit of the report, Masheter said, is that it helps local health care districts know where to direct educational and promotional dollars. She said it will help target areas of the state that battle specific illnesses and also help to coordinate care in those areas.
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