Quality & Patient Safety

What do rankings mean for patient safety?

Patient Safety Monitor, October 1, 2016

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Just as it has every year for the last 26 years, U.S. News & World Report recently released its hospital rankings for 2016-2017. This year, the organization named Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the best hospital in the country.

Hospital rankings from U.S. News & World Report have been an annual staple for decades, designed to help consumers make "smart, well informed choices" about where they receive care. But the publication has been joined by a growing number of rating and scoring organizations?including, for the first time this year, the federal government.

Despite several months of pushback, including a letter signed by 60 U.S. senators urging delay, CMS released its "Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating" system, which rates every hospital in the country on a scale of one to five stars based on the hospital's performance on 64 quality measures.

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