On Tuesday, July 28, 2010, US News and World Report released their hospital rankings. Just one day prior, an online first Viewpoint was published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). The first author on this viewpoint is Duke GIM Associate Professor, Jonathan Bae, MD, with co-authors Lesley Curtis, PhD, of Duke Population Health Sciences and Adrian Hernandez, MD, of Duke Cardiology. The publication entitled, "National Hospital Quality Rankings: Improving the Value of Information in Hospital Rating Systems" uses the rankings to discuss how such efforts typically disadvantage hospitals caring for patients of lower socioeconomic status (SES) in regions with poorer population health, and argues for transparent and accurate rating methods that use patient-centric quality measures and account for population SES.
The group also came up with 4 ways to improve the value of the information reported to reduce misinformation and provide knowledge that could improve public understanding of health care delivery:
- Account for Population Differences Between Regions
- Shift From Rankings to Ratings
- Bring Attention to Measures That Matter to Patients
- Increase Transparency and Reproducibility of Results
This viewpoint has been gaining attention and was even featured in a story on WUNC 91.5 FM. Click here to view the story and listen to an interview with Dr. Bae.