Snapshots from #ahcj13 | Kevin Vaughan

Kaitlin Bell Barnett

About Kaitlin Bell Barnett

Kaitlin Bell Barnett is an independent journalist in Brooklyn. She is attending Health Journalism 2013 on an AHCJ-New York Health Journalism Fellowship, which is supported by the New York State Health Foundation.

Kevin Vaughan, senior reporter, I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver, CO:

I know it’s pretty early into the conference, but have you had a favorite panel so far?
It’s early, but I found the panel this morning on trying to sort out hospital rankings extremely interesting. [It was] Fascinating to see that one organization can rank a hospital the best in the country and another one can give it an F grade on a report card. And as a journalist trying to sort out what information the rankings use and what those rankings mean is sort of at the heart of what we do. So I found that very interesting.

That is interesting. Do you cover hospitals?
I cover health, and our organization does sort of [a] big-picture, data-driven look at statewide issues in Colorado. So hospital rankings is something that we haven’t tackled yet, but it seems like it would be a good field for us to plow. So that’s why I went to that one.”

Is that [hospital rankings] something you’d thought about looking at?
That’s something I had definitely thought about looking at. We have a lot of big hospitals in Denver, as you might imagine, and in other cities in Colorado, and some of these big national chains. And so being able to make sense of these rankings that you see – you know, the press release comes out: “We’ve been ranked number one” – trying to figure out what that really means for people is important.