Advertising techniques, she wrote, "usually include a da Vinci Robot and orthopedic surgery that will 'get you back in the game.' They claim to be 'state-of-the-art,' 'leading edge,' or 'cutting edge,' with actors playing doctors and nurses in masks."
"There is minimal oversight of hospital marketing compared with the active role the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plays guiding the direction of advertising for food and drugs," she wrote. "I wonder what the FDA would say about some of our hospital marketing: Does it educate the consumer?"
With the attention they hope their award will draw, that's what URAC and Leapfrog are asking as well. Last year, when the organizations launched the idea, many hospitals just couldn't get through the application process, Webster recalls.
"They wanted to participate, but they realized there was just a lot of work they needed to do to provide a better site, rather than just providing directions to the hospital or listing their doctors." Only 26 hospitals applied, and only seven made the cut. They couldn't say "yes" to at least 50% of the measures for each of five domains, Mobley says.
"Even if they got 80% for four, but only 20% in the fifth, that disqualified them," Mobley explains. The award algorithm is based on the National Quality Forum and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's guidelines for "consumer-focused Internet-based public reporting of health performance data."
The seven winners are: