April 19, 2011
As of today, the community can view updated data on how well area hospitals perform in treating three common health conditions – heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia. The information, released by the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, is available at www.gchchospitalquality.org. The conditions are among the three most common reasons for hospitalizations in the Tristate. In addition, patients can access data on surgical care, patient satisfaction measures, and 30-day readmission and mortality rates.
Greater Cincinnati is the only region in Ohio where hospitals come together to voluntarily provide hospital- specific performance data to help patients make informed decisions about their hospital care.
Hospitals were measured on whether patients with the conditions received all of the recommended treatment for which they were eligible during their hospital stay. Hospitals use these data to make internal decisions about how to improve the quality of care patients receive. They also look for and share best practices of those hospitals that are performing particularly well on a specific measure.
“This commitment to transparency and collaboration is unique,” said Colleen O’Toole, PhD, president of the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, the organization that leads the project. “It is clearly raising the quality of care not only at individual hospitals but for our entire community. Local hospitals are performing at or above Ohio and national averages in all categories. The data posted are for full year 2009, the latest available, and previous years’ data also can be viewed.”
“People in Greater Cincinnati can be proud that hospitals in their community are willing to come together in a collaborative manner to learn from one another about what they can do better,” O’Toole said. “Making this information available publicly and updating and enhancing the data each year gives consumers reliable information that they can use for their own education and for discussion with their physicians. Now that the hospitals have reported data for five years, progress made over time can be tracked.”
Overall performance for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia improved from 2008 to 2009, and vast improvement has been achieved since 2005 when data were first reported. For example:
These trends indicate quality of care measures are improving within Tristate hospitals, which translates to better care for the community and more lives saved.
Users can search the website by hospital name to see how an individual facility compares to others in the area. For each of the hospitals listed, users can find out:
This is the kind of information people need to make them more knowledgeable health care decision-makers, said Sharron DiMario, director of community initiatives at Employers Health Coalition of Ohio. “As Greater Cincinnati-area residents, we should all be pleased that our hospitals are leading the way in the state of Ohio by putting quality data into the hands of consumers.
The indicators focus on some of the most common and costly conditions that hospitals treat. The hospitals are rated on care guidelines that are widely accepted across the country as best practices by such organizations as the Joint Commission and the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program/American Osteopathic Association, national organizations that accredit hospitals.
This report is really about what hospitals do with the data, said Robert Graham, MD, program director of Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality (recently named national program director of AF4Q), Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and medical consultant for the project. The purpose of the quality improvement initiative is not to single out any hospital as “best” or “worst.” It is about working together to make continual changes that improve care. As hospitals learn from one another and implement changes, the idea is that all provide better and better care for patients. Collaboration is a cornerstone of this effort.
The Greater Cincinnati Health Council provided the unique forum for its hospital members to collaborate on this quality improvement effort and developed the website on behalf of the 19 participating hospitals from the region. Data measures on the website are updated annually.
The data for 2009 were pulled from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare and from the Ohio Hospital Association.
The Greater Cincinnati Health Council is a widely recognized association that provides a unique forum where hospital and health care leaders collaborate to create a stronger health care community. For more than 50 years, the Council has served as a trusted voice on hospital and health care issues for the Tristate region.