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Measuring results for you to make healthcare decisions

In today’s world, you have choices – especially when it comes to healthcare. Having reliable and understandable information about the quality of care our hospitals provide can help you make the best healthcare decisions possible.

There are several national organizations that define the best ways to measure quality. These organizations use research and expert calculations to decide what data to gather, how to analyze it, and how to display the information. They set standards to ensure that any hospital that participates has reliable and accurate data. This information will help you determine what level of care you are receiving and will help us identify areas where we can grow and improve.

Our quality measures were chosen because they meet these goals:

  • Transparency - we want measures to be up-front and easy to understand.
  • Public methodology - the methods of collecting and analyzing data are available for study.
  • Validity - we want measures to be validated by reputable research or expertise.
  • Comparisons - we want measures that can be compared to a national average so you can compare us with the high standards set for hospitals across the nation.
  • Expertise - we choose measures that have been developed and tested by the most well-respected, independent national experts.
  • Relevance - we choose measures that are relevant to our patients to help you understand, select and plan for high quality healthcare.

We display information in a way that is understandable and useful to you because that is what is most valuable. We share our results consistently over time. We believe you need the facts in order to make an informed decision about your healthcare.

How we measure quality

Our hospital quality is measured in two ways: treatments / procedures and outcomes.

Treatments and procedures - This type of quality measure assesses whether a hospital is using the right treatments and procedures when patients are in the hospital. An example of a treatment and procedure measure is:

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services collects data based on the percentage of patients suffering from a heart attack who were given an aspirin when they arrived at the hospital. Studies have shown that a patient who takes an aspirin while suffering a heart attack has a greater chance of survival.

Outcomes - This quality measure assesses the success of treatments and procedures patients receive in the hospital; however, outcomes can be very difficult to measure and statistically analyze because every patient is different. For example:

An otherwise healthy 23 year old patient who has pneumonia will not have the same chance of survival as a 93 year old patient with underlying heart disease or other conditions.

A few leading independent national measurement agencies have developed statistical methods to adjust for the severity of a patient's illness when predicting outcomes such as risk of mortality and complications. These models aren't perfect and should not be the sole deciding factor when choosing a hospital.

Examples of outcome measures include:

  • How many patients who arrive at the hospital with a heart attack survive to discharge?
  • How many patients develop an infection after surgery?

If you have any questions that were not answered in this section, please talk to your healthcare provider.