Understanding Hospital Rankings

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Understanding Hospital Rankings

How they are determined and what they mean

By Working Nurse
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There are now so many hospital rankings and new ones appear with such metronomic regularity that it can be hard to tell them apart. Fortunately, The Advisory Board Company, a global research, technology and consulting firm, recently offered this quick guide to the top five:

  • Consumer Reports rates thousands of hospitals for processes and outcomes, although no top scorers are called out. Among the areas up for scrutiny are readmissions, hospital-acquired conditions, 30-day mortality for select conditions (including surgery) and discharge planning.

  • Leapfrog Group, an organization of employers and other buyers of group health plans, also concentrates on processes and outcomes. The group calls out about 100 “top hospitals,” based in part on Leapfrog’s internally developed Hospital Safety Scores. Areas examined include hospital resources, patient outcomes and management practices.

  • U.S. News & World Report focuses on processes and reputation. The magazine ranks hospitals on 16 specialty lists and then names about 20  to its annual “honor roll” based on an evaluation of mortality rates, volume, technology, nurse-patient ratios and hospital environment.

  • HealthGrades weighs outcomes, processes and patient experience, and then compiles lists of the 50 best, 100 best and top 5 percent of all hospitals in the nation. Among the factors considered are mortality and complication rates, software application, safety incidents and patient experience data.

  • The Joint Commission focuses on outcomes and processes and identifies more than 1,000 top-performing hospitals. The evaluation is based on 46 accountability measures of evidence-based care linked to positive patient outcomes for a variety of conditions.  

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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