"I speak as a physician here," Romano continues. "The culture in medical practice, and in healthcare in general, is to try to do a good job and to strive for continual improvement. It's embarrassing when you're marked as a bad outlier. It leaves most of us to question: What did we do wrong? What could we have done better?"
The take home message is that providing transparency and accountability with public release of this information "appears to be associated with improved performance across the system statewide," Romano says. "It does not appear to have had an obvious adverse effect in terms of avoidance of high risk patients."
Transparency is not going away. In fact, the Affordable Care Act will soon make dozens of hospital outcomes reportable and comparable. I expect many hospitals and physicians who do well on any metric will shout their success to the world.
The hospitals that don't do well should be prepared to deal with it and improve.
So perhaps the blustering should stop.