HealthLeaders Media QualityLeaders - April 22, 2010 | Are Hospital Rankings Popularity Contests or Measures of Quality? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Are Hospital Rankings Popularity Contests or Measures of Quality?
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
Since 1990, U.S. News & World Report annually has ranked more than 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult and 10 pediatric specialties—whittling them down to the top 50 in each category—to help consumers "find the one that's best for you and your family." However, a study appearing in the April 20 Annals of Internal Medicine says the standings of those top hospitals reflect more "subjective reputations" over more objective measures of quality. So what should we think? [Read More]
April 22, 2010
Editor's Picks

Women's Mortality Risk Higher at Most Hospitals
Women undergoing heart surgery and interventions are at a much greater risk of dying than are men undergoing the same procedures in the same hospitals, according to HealthGrades' Seventh Annual Women's Health in American Hospitals. Women had a higher risk of mortality in three cardiovascular procedures: valve replacement surgery (52.8% higher), coronary bypass surgery (36.6%), and coronary interventional procedures (19.5%). [Read More]

Better Nurse Patient Ratios Could Save Thousands of Lives Annually, Says Study
If California's mandatory nurse patient ratios had been in effect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hospitals in 2006, those states would have seen 10.6% and 13.9% fewer deaths among general surgical patients, according to a Pennsylvania researcher's analysis. That equated to 468 lives that might have been saved, says Linda Aiken, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the study's lead author. [Read More]

Should Doctors Explain Their Board Certification to Patients?
Jack Bruner, MD, former member of the California Medical Board and a board certified plastic surgeon in Sacramento, CA, insists doctors should inform their patients whether they are board certified, and by which board, "because there is massive consumer confusion as to the qualifications of practitioners, and patients are being hurt because of it." Some California lawmakers think he has a point and are considering legislation that would mandate the practice statewide for any physician, osteopath, or podiatrist. If board certified, he or she would have to say so. If not, they might have to say that too. [Read More]

Obama Calls for Lifting Hospital Visitor Restrictions
The White House is requesting that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius initiate rulemaking to lift restrictions on unrelated visitors to act as surrogate decision makers and to visit hospitalized patients. The memo said the ruling would affect hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. [Read More]

Time to Tell Your Leadership Team's Story
The deadline is approaching to enter the seventh annual Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Awards—a program that celebrates stories of great healthcare leadership in hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. There are five categories: large hospitals and health systems (500 or more licensed beds); community and mid-sized hospitals (100 to 499 licensed beds); small hospitals (fewer than 100 licensed beds); health plans (state, regional, and national); and medical group practices (physician-owned, single- or multi-specialty groups employing 25 or more physicians). Winners will be announced nationally and profiled in an issue of HealthLeaders magazine. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Hospital Mortality Is Not the Way to Judge Quality
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media – April 22, 2010

When heart devices fail, who should be blamed?
New York Times – April 21, 2010

California regulators cite Oakland hospital
Los Angeles Times – April 20, 2010

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Audio Feature
If a hospital is to become patient-centric, the CEO has to have patient experience at the top of his or her list of concerns, says Gary Adamson, chief executive officer of Starizon Studio. The CEO is the only person in the organization who can span across all the department silos and drive a well-thought out, orchestrated patient experience, he says. [Listen Now]
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