According to a published study in the Journal for Health Care Quality, few medical “registries” exist to allow doctors and hospitals to compile and share their results with one another. One of the co-authors of this study, Dr. Martin Makary, a noted surgeon at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, stated on National Public Radio, “For 99 percent of people in America, when they go in to have surgery, the outcome of that operation is not measured. Nobody’s keeping track.”
Makary indicates that a registry collects data on disease and outcomes from different centers. But, when he attempted to gain access to the outcomes from other centers, he was unable to. This prompted Makary and colleagues to investigate if other diseases beyond his work (pancreas islet transplantation) are being tracked in national registries and available to the public.
According to Makary’s study, 154 registries were identified, and a tremendous amount of variation exists between the different medical specialties, with only 18 percent having any form of auditing for data verification. Such results are absolutely abysmal!
Healthcare patients and payers justifiably demand a great deal more accountability from those providing the care. Efforts to improve our care appear hollow without implementing rigorous requirements to PUBLICLY report these key metrics. Voluntarily reporting seems to be more about convenience and less about a societal moral obligation. But transparency will work if closely tied to accountability.
One must reasonably ask: Why is our current reporting ‘requirements’ deemed acceptable?
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