Hospitalists finding their role in hospital quality ratings


How can hospitalists engage with Compare?

Dr. Goodrich refers hospitalists seeking quality resources to their local quality improvement organizations (QIO) and to Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks at the regional, state, national, or hospital system level.

One helpful thing that any group of hospitalists could do, added Dr. Figueroa, is to examine the measures closely and determine which ones they think they can influence. “Then look for the hospitals that resemble ours and care for similar patients, based on the demographics. We can then say: ‘Okay, that’s a fair comparison. This can be a benchmark with our peers,’” he said. Then it’s important to ask how your hospital is doing over time on these measures, and use that to prioritize.

“You also have to appreciate that these are broad quality measures, and to impact them you have to do broad quality improvement efforts. Another piece of this is getting good at collecting and analyzing data internally in a timely fashion. You don’t want to wait 2-3 years to find out in Hospital Compare that you’re not performing well. You care about the care you provided today, not 2 or 3 years ago. Without this internal check, it’s impossible to know what to invest in – and to see if things you do are having an impact,” Dr. Figueroa said.

“As physician leaders, this is a real opportunity for us to trigger a conversation with our hospital’s administration around what we went into medicine for in the first place – to improve our patients’ care,” said Dr. Goodrich. She said Hospital Compare is one tool for sparking systemic quality improvement across the hospital – which is an important part of the hospitalist’s job. “If you want to be a bigger star within your hospital, show that level of commitment. It likely would be welcomed by your hospital.”


1. Sankaran R et al. Changes in hospital safety following penalties in the US Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction Program: retrospective cohort study. BMJ. 2019 Jul 3 doi: 10.1136/bmj.l4109.

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