Hospitals' use of confidential report cards for physicians is "unlikely to be a sufficient strategy for healthcare quality improvement," according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study by researchers at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal found that appropriate prescribing of beta blockers -- as measured by the number of elderly heart-attack patients who filled beta-blocker prescriptions -- did not appear to improve significantly at hospitals using "rapid feedback" in the form of in-house report cards compared with hospitals that obtained data 14 months later. The study "supports some earlier work that showed a one-time intervention of any sort is not an effective way to achieve sustained improvement in the quality of care being offered," said Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient-safety policy at the American Hospital Association. At deadline, the report was not available online. -- by Andis Robeznieks
In-house doctor report cards of limited value: study
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