California hospital websites offered dashboard to share patient safety data
The California Hospital Association announced a partnership this week with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation and the Hospital Quality Institute to increase transparency of quality and safety information at hospitals across the state.
The partnership will focus on helping California hospitals implement a digital dashboard on their websites to show performance data on five measures: central line-associated blood stream infections, surgical site infections, cesarean section and sepsis mortality rates and venous thromboembolism.
"These measures were chosen because they represent the most pressing issues and biggest opportunities for improvement in patient safety and quality of care," said Julie Morath, president and CEO of the Hospital Quality Institute, a not-for-profit established in 2013 with the mission to improve patient safety in California.
Hospitals also need to report the measures for CMS program participation.
In addition to performance on quality measures, the dashboard will also allow a hospital to include whether or not it uses evidence-based practices to mitigate the occurrence of these conditions.
The data will be updated quarterly by participating hospitals.
Morath said the Hospital Quality Institute and its partners will encourage every hospital in the state to use the dashboard. The digital dashboard has been developed in an "easy-to-read" format by the partners, and will be sent to every acute-care hospital in the state.
Morath said she expects California hospitals will begin posting the dashboards on their websites over the next several months and she hopes the dashboards will be widely used by hospitals across the state by year-end.
Morath said it "will be up to the hospitals" to decide how they let their patients and community know the information is available.
Lack of knowledge and usage of healthcare transparency tools is a major hurdle in healthcare. Patients often assume quality of care isn't something they need to worry about and instead seek out cost information tools.
Critics argue that quality of care data often need to be specific to the patient and their condition in order to be beneficial. Information on broad measures like catheter-associated urinary tract infections rates might not be informative enough for patients to make a decision about where to get treatment.
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