Understanding Quality Report Cards: A Board Discussion Guide

What Can Boards Do With Quality Report Cards?

Scorecards aren’t going away: consumers want help distinguishing one hospital from another, and these reports offer the promise of synthesizing complex information for worried patients. Notwithstanding their flaws, public reports often draw attention from consumers and the media. Boards can help their organizations by asking questions about how the scorecards relate to the hospital’s broader approach to quality, and what response they may have. Here’s where you can start:

  • How does my board track my hospital’s quality of care? Do we consider internal metrics? Public scorecards?
  • Does our board have a clear understanding of the scorecards we are using to track performance: What the metrics are designed to measure? What the data indicate? What board members should be looking for when they review these reports and what types of questions they could ask, etc.?
  • Does our perception of our hospital’s quality (and our own internal data) match our scores/grades/rankings on public scorecards?
  • Should we track how we perform on public scorecards as part of our organization’s internal performance tracking?
  • What do our scores/grades/rankings suggest we need to do—introduce more quality initiatives? Improve our marketing?
  • If we have scores on public reports that we do not like, are we prepared to respond to media inquiries? How can we showcase the good work that we do?

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