Public Reporting of Health Care

Public Reporting of Health Care

Public Reporting of Health Care

Public Reporting of Health Care


Public reporting of heath care organizations has emerged as a strategy to improve quality (Christianson et al., 2010). To further that goal, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)—whose mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care—funds projects that address three quality indicators: prevention, inpatient, quality, and patient safety (Dunton et al., 2011).

The Leapfrog Group Efforts by the Leapfrog Group constitute one private sector initiative to address quality. The Leapfrog Group is a consortium of public and private purchasers established to reduce prevent- able medical mistakes. The organization uses its mammoth purchasing power to leverage quality care for its consumers by rewarding health care organizations that demonstrate quality outcome measures. The quality indicators the group focuses on include ICU staffing, electronic medi- cation ordering systems, and the use of higher performing hospitals for high-risk procedures. Leapfrog estimates that if these three patient safety practices were implemented, more than 57,000 lives could be saved, more than $12 billion dollars could be saved, and more than 3 mil- lion adverse drug events could be avoided (Binder, 2010).

Benchmarking In contrast to quality management strategies that compare internal measures across comparable units, such as the Leapfrog Group, benchmarking compares an organization’s data with similar organizations. Outcome indicators are identified that can be used to compare performance across disciplines or organizations. Once the results are known, health care organizations can address areas of weakness and enhance areas of strength (Nolte, 2011). Interestingly, one study found that hospital size didn’t affect the ability of institutions to compare results (Brown et al., 2010).

Evidence-Based Practice Evidence-based practice has emerged as a strategy to improve quality by using the best avail- able knowledge integrated with clinical experience and the patient’s values and preferences to provide care (Houser & Oman, 2010).

Similar to the nursing process, the steps in EBP are:

1. Identify the clinical question.

2. Acquire the evidence to answer the question.

3. Evaluate the evidence.

4. Apply the evidence.

5. Assess the outcome.

Research findings with conflicting results puzzle consumers daily, and nurses are no excep- tion, especially when they search for practice evidence. Hader (2010) suggests that evidence falls into several categories:

● Anecdotal—derived from experience ● Testimonial—reported by an expert in the field


● Statistical—built from a scientific approach ● Case study—an in-depth analysis used to translate to other clinical situations ● Nonexperimental design research—gathering factors related to a clinical condition ● Quasi-experimental design research—a study limited to one group of subjects ● Randomized control trial—uses both experimental and control groups to determine the

effectiveness of an intervention

While all forms of evidence are useful for clinical decision making, a randomized control design and statistical evidence are the most rigorous (Hader, 2010).

Magnet® Certification The Magnet Recognition Program® designates organizations that “recognize health care orga- nizations that provide nursing excellence” (ANCC, 2011). To qualify for recognition as a mag- net hospital the organization must demonstrate that they are:

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