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August 22/29, 2017

Time for Transparent Standards in Quality Reporting by Health Care Organizations

Author Affiliations
  • 1Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Health Policy and Management, Center for Health Services & Outcomes Research, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 4Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2017;318(8):701-702. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.10124

Transparency is becoming the norm in US health care. With this evolution, the volume of publicly available data on health care quality has increased rapidly. Federal agencies, private organizations, health plans, state governments, and others report publicly on the performance of hospitals and physicians.1-3 However, there are no agreed upon standards for what information should be reported, its accuracy, and the underlying data that support it. All these are needed to allow the public to determine whether the measure and data are truthful, timely, and transparent.4 In this Viewpoint, we propose that hospitals and physicians adopt standards for their own public reporting of quality measures and that an external entity make transparent the extent to which reporting by each organization adheres to these standards.

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