SALT LAKE CITY -- A new hospital comparison report released this week by the Utah Department of Health shows Top of Utah hospitals are doing better overall than the rest of the nation in several areas of care.
The report, which can be viewed at http://health.utah.gov/myhealthcare, is a tool for the public to access information and discuss their best health care option with providers.
Health care professionals, legislators and policy makers can use the findings to inform discussions about ways to increase the quality and safety of health care while lowering costs, according to UDOH.
In addition to measures of in-hospital deaths, average charges and patient safety, the report shows maps of county rates for avoidable hospitalizations, readmission rates, hospital adherence to guidelines for recommended care and patient satisfaction.
"We always support transparency," said Craig Bielik, Ogden Regional Medical Center's marketing director.
"The more information the public can get, the better they are able to make health decisions. Also, having the Utah Department of Health watching us makes us a better hospital."
When it comes to in-hospital deaths among patients with heart failure, pneumonia and stroke, McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden and Ogden Regional Medical Center, as well as Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful and Davis Hospital and Medical Center in Layton, got average or above-average ratings.
However, Davis Hospital did get a below-average rating when it came to dying in the hospital after heart failure.
"Davis Hospital and Medical Center has a firm commitment to quality and a policy of transparency that go hand in hand," said hospital CEO Mike Jensen.
"The front page of the Davis Hospital website even has a direct link to a quality dashboard that consumers can reference.
"In addition, we use the data that appears in both state and national quality reports in our documented, ongoing efforts to positively impact the quality of care we provide to our patients."
Dr. Christine Nefcy, McKay-Dee Hospital's chief medical officer, said transparency is always beneficial when it comes to health care.
"We support the process of reporting, transparency and sharing this information. Having such information can be helpful to patients as they make decisions about their health care," she said.
"We think future measuring efforts will be better refined and be of better use to patients."
Since 2005, the UDOH has released hospital comparison reports as mandated by the Health Care Consumer Bill with guidance from its advisory panel, the Health Data Committee.
The report was generated by MONAHRQ, a tool developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This tool allows users to find the amount of detail that interests them the most, such as specific ratings, costs for specific procedures and maps of potentially avoidable hospital stays in each county.
Greg Poulsen, senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Intermountain Healthcare, said good, consistent information is at the heart of quality and value improvement.
"Providing accurate, clear and easy-to-understand data helps consumers to make wise choices and providers to make improvements. We are fortunate in Utah to be on the forefront of collecting and providing meaningful health data."