Public Reporting of Hospital Infection Rates: Not All Change is Progress
David A. Hyman
University of Illinois College of Law
Bernard S. Black
Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law; Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 12-21
Northwestern University, Institute for Policy Research Working Paper 13-07
Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LE13-18
Health-care associated infections (HAIs) are a major public health issue. In response, twenty-five states have adopted public reporting of hospital-specific HAI rates, but there is considerable diversity in how each state presents information. In related work, we assess the efficacy of these efforts, by scoring individual states on the content, credibility, and usability of their public reports and websites. In this article, we address a related but distinct topic. We focus on three states (California, Pennsylvania and Washington) which have made substantial changes in their HAI public reports, websites, or both during the short period since they began disclosing HAI rates. Indeed, Washington has made two sets of substantial changes to its HAI public reports/websites. How have these changes affected the content, credibility, and usability of these reports and websites? Stated more bluntly, does change mean progress? Sadly, as we show, the answer is sometimes “no.” We then discuss the lessons that other states should draw from these case studies.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: infections, HAIs, public reporting, usability
JEL Classification: i12, i18
Date posted: February 18, 2013
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