Hospital Ratings: Important but Confusing – by Suzanne Ravlin, KSB Senior Director of Human Resources & Quality

"Exceptional" rating marked with pen.  Could be performance appraisal, customer service rating, business performance evaluation.

There’s been a lot of talk about hospital ratings lately. That’s because it is more important than ever for patients to know how a hospital is performing.

The public needs to find ways to hold hospitals accountable for their performance. That’s why so many websites are attempting to rate quality in healthcare. The more common hospital-rating websites include: U.S. News & World Report, the Leapfrog Group, Truven, Health Grades and many others. Hospital data is also reported to the state health department and on the federal-run Hospital Compare website.

All of that means we at KSB Hospital must be prepared to respond to our patients’ questions regarding this information.

It’s important to remember that hospital ratings shouldn’t be expected to represent everything that occurs at the hospital. In fact, each different quality ranking provides a different perspective on hospital care and measures data in different ways, leading to confusion.

At KSB Hospital, we work hard to understand the types of data, as well as how they’re gathered, processed and presented for many of these websites. For us, we believe this is the only way to really understand each quality measure and for us to recognize areas of improvement and areas of success.

Finally, it is hard to precisely measure the excellent care our employees provide to our patients. We at KSB Hospital have the best of the best and live by our motto, “It’s the people.” And while we have the numbers to prove that, I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from William Bruce Cameron: “Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted.”

STAY TUNED: In a future article, we will discuss KSB’s results for specific hospital ratings.

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