HANYS Grades the Hospital Graders

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , November 6, 2013

The report cards or rankings that HANYS had the most faith in were from governmental or accrediting organizations. Both Hospital Compare, run by CMS, and the Joint Commission's Quality Check, were praised for meeting all or most of the nine measures HANYS used.

"The transparency and evidence-based measures were the strongest parts," says Mansfield, noting the report shows the organizations that ranked low on the used questionable data whether it was from administrative claims or data that wasn't validated.

Now, are these hospital lists meant to be compared side-by-side? Not really. But, the consumer doesn't know that. And if hospital rankings are being used in your organization as a selling point, you have to put yourself in the role of a patient or caregiver. When you do, it becomes clear that these lists are confusing.

HANYS graded 10 report cards, and marketers know there are many more local lists that doctors and hospitals also pay attention to. In Dallas, for example, D Magazine issues its own "Best Doctors" list, along with the best burgers, best cocktail, and so on. The marketing director of a specialty hospital in Big D has told me that it is imperative they make D Magazine's list every year because it's important to their patient clientele. The key phrase of that sentence is the latter part, "important to their patient."

Instead of looking at lists, it's time to start listening to patients.

Jacqueline Fellows is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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