CAN CONSUMERS REALLY TRUST STATISTICS MEANT TO REFLECT HOSPITAL QUALITY? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
As a discerning consumer of health care, you’re probably pretty persuaded by statistics when you’re comparing hospitals. But Eliot Haut and colleagues at Johns Hopkins say you really must look deeper when you’re deciding where to have surgery or deliver your baby.
HAUT: Don’t take a number as a final be all end all answer to your question when searching for quality. Get information from experts in the field. I personally know that our DVT rate at Hopkins in trauma is higher than anywhere else in the state of Maryland and it has been for years because we aggressively look for DVT, deep vein thrombosis. Ask our colleagues, look at other data, look at other metrics to compare hospitals when you’re deciding. :27
In a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Haut and colleagues describe what is known as ‘selection bias,’ when quality measures are attempted, and warn that interpreting those numbers requires a wide lens. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.