The Illinois Hospital Association (IHA), which represents nearly 200 hospitals statewide, has recently made huge strides in online transparency. Just last month they launched IllinoisHospitals.org which reports on the quality, patient satisfaction and services of their member hospitals and health systems.
“The web site not only shares in one convenient place a description of the hospitals’ services, but measures their progress in improving quality and safety and patient satisfaction, thereby demonstrating their commitment to help Illinoisans become more informed consumers of health care.” – IHA President Maryjane A. Wurth
This effort to reveal and compare statistical performance among Illinois hospitals is likely a response to the Illinois Department of Public health launching HealthcareReportCard.Illinois.gov last November. Both efforts aim to assist patients in making better informed decisions regarding their own healthcare.
When the Illinois Department of Public Health site was launched last year, some folks in the medical community expressed concern the data didn’t accurately reflect differences in the types of patients hospitals attract and how seriously ill they are. However, supporters of the site argued the risk adjustment methodology was developed and tested by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.
At first glance, the new IHA site appears to have much of the same data. What’s interesting here is the IHA’s willingness to accept some level of online transparency as inevitable. It may seem like a little thing, but I think this is another sign suggesting the industry is beginning to understand how the online space is impacting healthcare.