Whose Data Is It, Anyway?
Wachter's experience as an advisor for The Leapfrog Group, which ranks hospitals from A to F based on how safe they are for patient care, saw this first hand last summer and fall when the first rankings came out, and several hospitals received Ds and Fs.
"The hospitals that did poorly are very unhappy. And they say they feel like the measures are not very good, though I can say they are the best out there, the best available from publicly available data.
"But there's no question that while in one part of the organization people moan about the (measurement) system, another part of the organization is working on quality improvement with a passion that may previously have been lacking."
Earlier this week, I wrote about the dozens of specialty societies that wrote the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid with their concerns about federal oversight of these registries.
These registries and the societies that run them are now under pressure to produce.
As Wachter says, "this is changing the dynamics of the equation. The degree to which these specialty society run registries are being touted as the answer to quality measurement, as we move into high stakes measurement for pay for performance and public reporting, I think is creating a tension" that we'll be hearing a lot more about in coming months.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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