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Proliferation of hospital report cards confuses patients and takes precious time away from patient care

Consumers want to make informed decisions about their healthcare. They deserve information that is meaningful, accurate, reliable and relevant to their unique healthcare circumstances. It should be based on a standard set of measures that have been proven to be valid, reliable, evidence-based and a true reflection of healthcare quality.

Patients, families and healthcare providers shouldn’t have to dig through the plethora of different hospital report cards and guess which ones might be most accurate and useful.

Different approaches = different hospital ratings

Each hospital report card comes up with its own approach to rating hospitals. They decide which quality measures to include or exclude and often use different data sources and timeframes to create a single measure — or composite.

Instead of using detailed clinical data from medical records, many reports use administrative information from medical bills to draw conclusions about care quality.

Diverting resources away from patient care

The proliferation of hospital report cards diverts healthcare providers’ precious time and resources away from patient care. Healthcare providers must respond to dozens if not hundreds of mandatory and voluntary requests for quality data. And it takes hours to comply with each data request. These diverted resources would otherwise be directed to patient care and addressing quality and safety priorities.

Making sense of the report card chaos

HANYS is helping take the guesswork out of these quality reports. Our new Report on Report Cards provides an easy-to-understand ranking of 12 government, not-for-profit and for-profit hospital quality report cards.

HANYS’ Report on Report Cards found wide variation in ratings among the 12 report cards. In our report, we explain why some are better than others based on the data, measures and timeframes used. Our report also includes a consumer guide to making informed healthcare choices.