A New Health Care Quality Improvement Resource: WhyNotTheBest.org

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The Commonwealth Fund has launched a new Web site, WhyNotTheBest.org, that allows health care providers, researchers, and professionals to easily conduct side-by-side comparisons of 4,500 hospitals nationwide, track performance over time against numerous benchmarks, and download tools to improve health care quality.

WhyNotTheBest.org allows you to:

  • Find the top-performing hospitals in the country on 24 nationally recognized measures of health care quality, including care provided for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia, and prevention of surgical infection
  • Compare a hospital against its peers
  • Learn how to improve the quality of care delivery and patient satisfaction.

On the Web site, users can search publicly reported Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services performance data by a number of hospital characteristics--including region, ownership, and size--and measure performance against top performers and state and national averages.

WhyNotTheBest.org provides more than data. Case studies of high-performing hospitals and a library of tools offer lessons and strategies on ways to improve care. Featured tools include materials created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the American Heart Association, and top hospitals around the country.

"There are many report cards that measure quality of care, but WhyNotTheBest.org is unique in that it allows providers to benchmark performance against leaders and track improvements, and it provides credible tools to help providers achieve better performance," said Anne-Marie Audet, M.D., Vice President, Quality Improvement and Efficiency, at The Commonwealth Fund.

All information, including tools, can be saved to a "My Profile" page for later use. Over time, new measure sets and functionality, such as an Improvement Calculator to track progress toward benchmarks, will be added. IPRO, a not-for-profit health care evaluation and quality improvement organization, conducted all data analysis and Web development for the site.

"In five minutes, I was able to compare my own hospital's performance on dozens of measures to those of other large teaching hospitals, to best performers in California, and to national performance leaders, using WhyNotTheBest.org," said Robert Wachter, M.D., Associate Chairman of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Medicine. "I was also able to trend our performance over time and read how innovators solved their own quality problems. WhyNotTheBest.org represents the marriage of health care transparency and modern Web technologies, and the results are thrilling."