I was reading through other peoples’ blog posts yesterday when amazingly enough, I was here on THCB and came across this straightforward statement by Paul Levy, the CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Of course, many readers are aware that Paul has made news by establishing a blog called Running a Hospital. I think he’s probably taken some good-natured ribbing by his more straightlaced colleagues. But I admire that fact that he’s broken the bounds of decorum and speaks openly about the many tremendously difficult issues that face hospital executives.
While many many hospitals (and doctors and health plans and…) are
still doing everything possible to hold back the transparency tide,
here’s his take:
The main value of transparency is not necessarily to enable easier
consumer choice or to give a hospital a competitive edge. It is to
provide creative tension within hospitals so that they hold themselves
accountable. This accountability is what will drive doctors, nurses,
and administrators to seek constant improvements in the quality and
safety of patient care. So, even if we can’t compare hospital to
hospital on several types of surgical procedures, we can still commend
hospitals that publish their results as a sign that they are serious
Nothing could be truer, or more central to the mission of fixing American health care. This covers a lot of waterfront, is core to much that will occur in the future, and is, by the way, a foundational tenet of Health 2.0.
Thank you, Mr. Levy.