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Readers want more information, accountability from hospitals

Categories: Community, Health

The CBC's Rate My Hospital project is generating a lot of reaction, both in the health care field and from Canadians in general.

doctors-masks-220.jpgOur story on the hospitals with the top grades in the project's report card was the most viewed on yesterday. We've had more than a million page views on our stories about the project, and you've written hundreds of comments across them all. 

We've seen reaction on Twitter and Facebook, as well.

Some members of the CBC Community shared their own experiences with hospitals in the context of the fifth estate ratings.

  • "Having received outstanding treatment at three of the hospitals on this list - Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert, Grace Hospital and Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg - I can see why they have achieved the grade of A+. I'm not planning on 'visiting' the other hospitals on the list to see if they are as good as the CBC rates them, but if they come anywhere near the quality of care and service delivery that I received at the three hospitals I mentioned, then they are most deserving of their ratings and the people served by them are in the best of hands," said Allworld.

  • I retired from my professional career in health care in big city hospitals after 35 years and now live near Perth and Smiths Falls. I have been a out patient in both hospitals and have had friends in both. It comes as no surprise that P & S Falls hospital is # 1. And, it's mostly about patient care and front line staff. Well done P & S Falls! Very deserved," said DancingPony.

Yesterday, we revealed how the provinces co-ordinated their denials to the CBC's request for information on individual hospitals. Most people in the comments said they wanted to see government release such data.

  • "Hey, provinces and territories, you work for us on our dime. Why is asking for some transparency and accountability such a bad thing? Smarten up and show us the goods," said Arctic Dude.

  • "I am a health care professional and I say good for the CBC. To my peers I say stop the BS and get to work on quality improvements. We need more CEOs like Windsor's David Musyj," said JohnBaptiste.

  • "I am a strong supporter of our current universal healthcare system. However, let the facts fall as they may so we all have a better understanding what our strengths and weaknesses are. If there is a particular department or service that needs an overhaul, let's have that conversation. I would very much like to know how my tax dollars are being used," said SouthSask.

  • "Sunshine is the best disinfectant. If health ministers have nothing to hide, why are they doing such a thorough job of hiding? Let the sunshine in, and some buckets of soapy water and a competent cleaning staff would be welcome as well," said SusanDe

But some members of the CBC Community, including MarkHammer, disagreed on the issue of transparency:

Reasons to not "fork it over":

1) Release of the data may not comply with the Privacy Act and require considerable investment to make compliant.

2) There may be no national standards for what information is gathered, how it is formatted or coded, or applying case restrictions to the data, such that it is not directly or reliably comparable across institutions.

And some commenters echoes concerns voiced by hospital administrators about the methodology behind the Rate My Hospital grades and rankings. As Dr. Alex Bottle of the Dr. Foster project rating U.K. hospitals mentioned in the fifth estate's live chat yesterday, some of these same criticisms were raised when his project was launched in 2001.

You can read more about the methodology behind Rate My Hospital and the team of expert who helped the fifth estate devise its rating system.

  • "'Death after major surgery' is not a very good indicator. In large cities, some hospitals do the majority of the very complex/difficult/cutting edge surgeries. Of course, the death rates would be much higher that the hospitals designated to perform major, well established surgeries," said IvanNano.
  • "Folks, you may disagree with the methodology of the study. You may disagree with the way it's been presented. But if you consider accountability in hospital care to be important, you have to recognize that this study is a step in the right direction. Let the debate about improvements into this issue continue, but in the meantime, kudos to the CBC for bringing us the story and igniting better things to come," said MiltonDad.

Thanks for all your feedback about the Rate My Hospitals project. Please continue to share your reaction in the comments of our stories. The fifth estate has also set up an email address for tips or information related to the series:

Tags: CBC, Community, Community Reaction, Health

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