Yale doc knows the right data is out there

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Writing for Forbes Magazine, Matthew Herper profiles Harlan Krumholz, the pioneering quality of care researcher and Yale cardiologist. During his career, Krumholz, 52, has been at the leading edge of everything from Hospital Compare and angioplasty delivery times to recent headline grabbers like the Vioxx suit and the 2009 study on radiation exposure during routine scans. The highlight of the profile comes when Herper highlights Krumholz’ knack for picking out just the right metrics with which to hold feet to the fire.

Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D.

Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D.

By figuring out what to measure and how, he showed that even top hospitals were systematically underperforming, largely because no one was tracking the results.

Krumholz’s basic idea is that if you ask the right question and pick the right measurement, you can figure out a way to get the answer, often using billing records or existing databases. This frequently involves partnering with insurers or Medicare. He has a knack for focusing on performance metrics that hold hospitals accountable.

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