Experts advised CBC’s Rate My Hospital team

Health-care specialists selected from around the world

At the start of the Rate My Hospital project, the experts gathered at CBC's Toronto headquarters to brainstorm ideas. At the start of the Rate My Hospital project, the experts gathered at CBC's Toronto headquarters to brainstorm ideas. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Evaluating Canada’s acute care hospitals is a gargantuan task. Not only are hospitals administered differently in every province and territory, but the services they offer vary dramatically. Comparing performance on a national level is a complex matter.

As the team from CBC’s the fifth estate began initial research, they were pleased to discover that experts in Canada and abroad supported the plan to rate Canada’s acute care hospitals. From the earliest stages, a panel of consultants in the healthcare field agreed to offer their guidance and expert advice.

Patricia O’Connor, director of nursing at McGill University Health Centre said she agreed to act as a consultant because she believes more transparency in the hospital system will lead to better care.

“I think the public deserves to have more information about how hospitals perform,” she said.

“It increases the pressure on us to not sit back and accept current performance because current performance will never be enough.”

Throughout the project, the five experts provided feedback on everything from the kinds of questions the CBC should ask hospitals to the statistical methodology that should be used to rate hospitals.

Below is detailed information on each member of the panel.

Alex Bottle

Alex Bottle (Evan Mitsui/CBC)Alex Bottle (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Bottle is a senior lecturer in medical statistics in the School of Public Health at Imperial College in London, U.K. He is also the chief analyst with the school's Dr. Foster Unit, which develops tools for displaying health care information and monitoring the quality of care. He devised the statistical methodology behind the national real-time monitoring system for tracking patient outcomes used by Dr. Foster Intelligence, the main company that analyzes health care information for the U.K. government’s National Health Service. His research focuses on using routinely collected data to analyze variations in the quality of health services with an eye to helping hospitals improve patient care.

Patricia O'Connor

Patricia O'ConnorPatricia O'Connor (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

O'Connor is director of nursing and chief nursing officer at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and an assistant professor in McGill's School of Nursing. She has been involved in numerous initiatives to improve patient care, including the MUHC's best practices program to reduce fall injuries and pressure ulcers and improve pain management. She is currently leading the Transforming Care at the Bedside program, which focuses on engaging patients and front-line staff in the redesign of systems that affect inpatient care. O'Connor has received numerous honours, including the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital’s lifetime achievement award in 2009.

Barbara Rudolph

Barbara RudolphBarbara Rudolph (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Rudolph is a senior scientist at the Center for Health Systems Research and Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the lead scientist for the County Health Rankings program at the university's Population Health Institute. She is interested in how health care data is collected and reported and how hospitals measure performance and quality of care. Rudolph helped develop several hospital ranking programs, including the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals rankings, the Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Score, and the Wisconsin Bureau of Health Services’ Consumer Guide to Health Care, which included hospital performance.

Gary Teare

Gary TeareGary Teare (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Teare is director of measurement and analysis for the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council, where he heads a team of researchers who collect and analyze information about patient care and safety from health care providers across the province to help them use it to improve their performance. Teare is also an adjunct professor in community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. He has worked with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. He is also a member of the accreditation program advisory committee of Accreditation Canada, a non-profit organization that assesses health care institutions.

Jack Tu

Jack TuJack Tu (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Tu is a cardiologist at the Schulich Heart Centre at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital and a senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, where he leads the cardiovascular and diagnostic imaging research team. He has published numerous studies evaluating the quality of cardiac care in Canada, including the landmark 2009 Enhanced Feedback for Effective Cardiac Treatment (EFFECT) study which examined how publicly reporting hospital performance data affects treatment. He was lead editor of the Canadian Cardiovascular Atlas, which mapped regional variations in cardiovascular care. Tu is a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and holds the Canada Research Chair in health services research.

To contact the Rate My Hospital team with tips or information related to the series, please email

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