The true value of transparency in healthcare data.

by Gilbert Keith

This is an interesting point. I have often found the ‘consumer benefits from data about hospital performance’ line of thinking to be questionable myself. The data is not exactly easy to digest, and i just don’t see people doing that kind of research on a large scale. In the

long run, as we find better ways of presenting the data and improving our channels of communicating the data, perhaps the better consumer decisions lineof logic is more relevant. Until then:

"There are often misconceptions as people talk about "transparency" in the health-care field. They say the main societal value is to provide information so patients can make decisions about which hospital to visit for a given diagnosis or treatment. As for hospitals, people believe the main strategic value of transparency is to create a competitive advantage vis-à-vis other hospitals in the same city or region. Both these impressions are misguided.

Transparency’s major societal and strategic imperative is to provide creative tension within hospitals so that they hold themselves accountable. This accountability is what will drive doctors, nurses, and administrators to seek constant improvements in the quality and safety of patient care."

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