Study of Boston hospitals shows quality ratings vary by web site

A study in the November/ December Health Affairs shows that although many quality reporting services, often in the form of Web sites, have been established to help consumers choose a hospital based on quality measures, they all use different metrics and rankings to determine quality, reports American Medical News. The study compared the quality rankings of nine Boston-area hospitals from five different quality ranking Web sites: HealthGrades, Medicare's Hospital Compare, the Leapfrog Group, U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals," and Massachusetts Healthcare Quality and Cost.

 

Not only did rankings among the different services differ for specific conditions (such as coronary artery bypass), often the rankings for many different conditions within one hospital differed on each site, making it hard for patients to discern which facilities offered the highest quality of care overall.

 

(SOURCES: HCPro Patient Safety Monitor, http://hcpro.com, January 14, 2009; American Medical News, http://ama-assn.org/amednews, accessed January 19, 2009)