Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare last week added elements to its online hospital report cards, which have garnered praise from the American Hospital Association, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The updated report cards include average patient-satisfaction scores for Norton's five Louisville hospitals and how they compare with national averages.
According to the AHA, Norton Healthcare has proven itself "the national leader" in publicly disclosing hospital performance data. The addition of patient-satisfaction scores "completes the picture" because the scores reflect quality "through the patients' eyes," said Stephen Williams, Norton president and CEO. The patient-satisfaction scores are based on surveys, which are created by Press Ganey Associates and mailed to randomly selected patients shortly after their hospital visits. The surveys include questions on the speed of admission and level of attention by nurses and technicians, the Courier-Journal reports.
Since its debut in March, the online report card has received about 35,000 hits, but it is unclear how many visits were from local residents and how many were from industry watchers. Norton currently is the only Louisville hospital company to disclose performance data online, which limits its usefulness for comparing hospitals locally. "It's difficult to differentiate between providers ... when only one provider is providing the data," said Williams.
Baptist Hospital East in Louisville plans to provide performance data as early as next year, according to Tina Goodman Nuttal, director of outcomes management at Baptist. Norton next year plans to expand its report to include information about its 21 primary care physicians, who collectively receive more than 400,000 patient visits annually, the Courier-Journal reports (Howington, Louisville Courier-Journal, 12/1).