National Hospital Ratings Systems Share Few Common Scores And May Generate Confusion Instead Of Clarity
Author: J. Matthew Austin, Ashish K. Jha, Patrick S. Romano, Sara J. Singer, Timothy J. Vogus, Robert M. Wachter, Peter J. Pronovost
Attempts to assess the quality and safety of hospitals have proliferated, including a growing number of consumer-directed hospital rating systems. However, relatively little is known about what these rating systems reveal. To better understand differences in hospital ratings, we compared four national rating systems. We designated “high” and “low” performers for each rating system and examined the overlap among rating systems and how hospital characteristics corresponded with performance on each. No hospital was rated as a high performer by all four national rating systems. Only 10 percent of the 844 hospitals rated as a high performer by one rating system were rated as a high performer by any of the other rating systems. The lack of agreement among the national hospital rating systems is likely explained by the fact that each system uses its own rating methods, has a different focus to its ratings, and stresses different measures of performance.