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Where All the Hospitals Are Above Average

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 29, 2013

With apologies to Garrison Keillor and the world of Lake Wobegon, I simply had to borrow his phrase about the citizens of that fairy-tale land. It's just the first thought that came to me as I was reviewing the HealthLeaders Media 2013 Industry Survey, published in January.

We have solid data on how healthcare industry leaders view their organizations and the industry nationwide, and it gets pretty granular. The Premium versions get you additional analysis from our team of editors and researchers.

Because I cover leadership, I'm particularly fond of the CEO-only version of the report (also free), for which I wrote the companion analysis of the findings. The overall survey and the CEO-only version share the same second question:

Overall, how do you assess the current state of your own organization?

CEOs who responded to the survey, such as Bruce Elegant from Chicago's Rush Oak Park Hospital, had nuanced comments about the move to value-based care. But they may be too optimistic about their own organizations' "track."

What intrigued me most upon reflection was the fact that 78% of hospital and health system CEOs live in a land where all the hospitals and health systems are above average, including them. I'm no math whiz, but the definition of average means half the things being measured are below the middle, while half are above. In our example, that means 38% of those CEOs are wrong in their self-analysis.

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