You hear a lot these days about ‘transparency and quality’ in health care, but what exactly do those terms mean? Quite simply, transparency means providing patients and prospective patients with information about medical care and providers that is easy to find and understand. Often, this information can help patients make informed decisions about their care.
In health care, our primary measure of quality is based upon outcomes. That is, how often does the care we provide result in the outcome desired by the patient? We measure these outcomes by comparing numbers; and these statistics can indicate how well certain treatments result in positive outcomes for patients.
Hospitals and providers are required to collect and report these outcomes to federal and state regulatory agencies. As a result, these agencies offer the most accurate information available to patients, doctors and medical researchers. This information is also free of charge to the public.
At Providence Health & Services, we believe these agencies provide trustworthy information that can help you evaluate your health care options. However, this information should not be your only source for making health care decisions; we encourage you to discuss your care with your doctor or nurse, your insurer and your family.