Readers of this blog know that I am a fan of public reporting of performance data. I believe that data transparency helps fulfill an obligation to our patients to be honest about the care we provide, and is also a potent stimulus for improvement. There are obvious conditions that ought to be met before any sort of data – about quality, patient experience, finances or anything else – is shared in this way. The data should be meaningful (pertaining to something that patients are likely to care about), valid (the data actually measure what we say it measures), reliable (vary consistently with performance) and presented in a way that patients can easily make sense of it.
Our own efforts to report the patient satisfaction scores of Northwell Health Physician Partners physicians has been well received by our members and the press because it meets all of these criteria.
Some of the other public reporting efforts, such as recent reporting of surgical complications by Pro Publica, have been criticized for failing to meet the standards of validity and reliability, although I and others have been supportive of their efforts.