Washington state residents have a new, easier way to access the most important hospital safety data for any hospital in the state. Visitors to www.WAHospitalQuality.org can compare hospitals and see what hospitals are doing best at infection control, patient satisfaction, C-section rates, emergency department wait times, heart attack and stroke response, and more.
“The Washington State Hospital Association has come out fully in favor of transparency,” said Scott Bond, WSHA president and CEO. “We’re finding that if you share results, you’re really allowing the patient, family and consumer to understand, ‘How good is this care, really?’”
Bond said transparency also drives improvement.
“By nature, we’re competitive,” Bond said. “By nature, if you’re in health care, you want to improve. It’s motivating to find areas and say ‘Whoa, we aren’t quite as good as we should be and in fact, most of our colleague institutions are doing better.’ It’s a very motivating thing within our membership.”
The website is free and publicly accessible, and provides the following functionality:
- Compiles safety data on almost 90 measures that is reported to state and federal agencies, and pairs that data with definitions, explanations and tips to help inform and educate patients;
- Presents safety data in an accessible, understandable way and with simple navigation;
- Prompts patients and their families to ask questions of their hospital care teams;
- Provides the ability to compare hospitals on different measures;
- Explains the importance of the different measures in plain language;
- Provides contact information and links for all hospitals.
And although rural and specialty hospitals may not perform all the same procedures or offer the same services as larger hospitals, they also support quality transparency in quality measures.
“The rural hospital have determined that we will not compromise on quality,” said Julie Petersen, CEO of PMH in Prosser, and incoming chair of the WSHA Board of Trustees. “We’re reporting on exactly the same standards as the large urban and suburban facilities.”
WSHA has been publishing quality data on www.WAHospitalQuality.org since 2007, but developed the new site as part of the Leading Edge Advance Practice Topics/Partnership for Patients contract with CMS. This website was developed under Contract Number HHSM-500-2012-0008C, entitled “Hospital Engagement Contractor for Partnership for Patients Initiative.”
WSHA’s Record of Quality Reporting and Safety Improvements
WSHA first launched www.WAHospitalQuality.org in 2007, with just a few metrics (such as hand washing rates). Over the years, new metrics were added, but with very little investment in new functionality.
In 2011, WSHA became a Partnership for Patients hospital engagement network. Partnership for Patients is a nationwide, public-private collaborative effort to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.
In 2013, WSHA was selected to address Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics (LEAPT). LEAPT was created by the Partnership for Patients to expand and spread knowledge in several important areas of patient harm. This year-long project will provide intensive focus on areas important to our clinicians and patients. The development of the quality data website is part of LEAPT work, but will be maintained and expanded by WSHA.
About the Washington State Hospital Association
The Washington State Hospital Association is a membership organization representing 99 community hospitals and several other health-related organizations. The association provides issues management and analysis, information, advocacy and other services.
In 2005, WSHA launched the Patient Safety program to help hospitals improve patient safety by supporting the wide-spread adoption of evidence-based clinical practices. WSHA works to improve the health of the people of the state by becoming involved in all matters affecting the delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability and continuity of health care.