In today’s world, it often feels like there is a rating system for everything. Your last Uber ride? 5 stars. That restaurant you ate at last weekend? Also 5 stars. As healthcare continues its transition into a value-based care system, there has also been a push to apply similar ranking systems to hospitals. However, these straightforward rating systems don’t necessarily suit the complicated world of healthcare, especially when the needs and requirements of every patient are so different.
So what’s the best approach?
Recently, researchers at RAND proposed a hospital ranking system that weights scores in 7 CMS categories to determine an overall score for patients to use to describe their experience:
- Safety of care
- Patient experience
- Timeliness of care;
- Effectiveness of care; and
- Efficient use of medical imaging
Additionally, it is suggested that such ranking systems incorporate an easy to navigate template which demonstrates how each user can customize their search (and search weights) depending on the procedures and type of care they are looking for.
For example, let’s say a 25-year old male is doing research on the best place to have an orthopedic surgery. Timeliness and quality of care are important to him, but mortality isn’t really on his radar. Using these criteria, facilities in the area with higher timeliness and quality scores will be ranked higher in his search results than others.
What does this mean for my organization?
While most of these ranking systems are still in the research and development stage, some have been met with resistance claiming such ranking systems are often built on bad data which could ultimately lead patients to make flawed decisions that they might not have otherwise. Still, healthcare has seen a large shift toward transparency and patient feedback. It seems likely that the push to create easy to navigate hospital ranking systems will continue, even though they might take a while to perfect.
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