Health reporters should be asking the hospitals they cover plenty of in-depth questions about their star ratings and other collected quality measures. But they should not assume that those measures reflect the hospital’s true performance.
Predictive analytics is an area of data science that is getting a lot of attention in health care.
Predictive analytics offers a tantalizing solution to problems plaguing resource-restrained hospitals. Namely, if providers can predict which patients will be readmitted within 30 days, or who will acquire an infection in the hospital, they can apply scarce resources to those high-risk patients and change the predicted outcome. This has the potential to improve quality outcomes and lower costs. Continue reading
For three years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have penalized hospitals when the institutions show unacceptably high rates of potentially avoidable complications, such as blood clots, bed sores, and infections, Jordan Rau reported last month for Kaiser Health News.
The federal agency this year added penalties for two hospital-acquired infections that result from germs resistant to antibiotics: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (known as MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Continue reading
Nursing home star ratings are misleading and disingenuous, according to a recent analysis comparing ratings with quality measures alone. More than a thousand nursing homes nationally with high overall ratings had only one or two stars in quality measures, which could point to some serious health implications for residents. Continue reading
Last fall, I was fortunate to hear journalist Ellen Gabler give a presentation about one of her investigations to a gathering of administrators, executives and pathologists in the clinical laboratory industry.
The session at Lab Quality Confab in New Orleans was unusual because journalists rarely are invited to talk about their work before the industry they cover. Continue reading