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Transparency as a Pillar of a Quality and Safety Culture: The Experience of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

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Public transparency about the costs and quality of health care is an essential component of a high-performing health care system. Beginning in 2001, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC)—the largest municipal public hospital system in the United States—made a commitment to promote greater transparency in health care. The endeavor began with the sharing of performance data among staff members participating in learning collaboratives; later, data-sharing spread to HHC facilities and ultimately to the board of directors. After several years of sharing data internally, HHC leaders decided to take the next step—publicly reporting information on quality. In September 2007, HHC launched HHC in Focus, a public reporting Web site that provides performance data on each of the system's component facilities, as well as the corporation as a whole. Reported measures include chronic disease management and outcomes, infection prevention, and overall mortality, among others. Also available are data on public health interventions, like smoking cessation. While the effect of public reporting at HHC has not been systematically studied, performance indicators have continued to improve, suggesting that it is playing an important role in stimulating quality and patient safety.

Publication Details

Publication Date: December 1, 2008
Citation:

A-M. J. Audet, R. Raju, C. M. Jacobs et al., "Transparency as a Pillar of a Quality and Safety Culture: The Experience of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation," Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, December 2008 34(12):707–12.

Experts

Vice President, The Quality Institute