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Measuring and Evaluating Quality Care

VCU Medical Center encourages patients to evaluate many measurements when contemplating health care services. As an educational institution, we believe we have a responsibility to help individuals learn how to use the various “report cards” that are available online, as well as how to evaluate the benefits and limitations of these reports. This section of our website includes links to several organizations that provide public health care reports.

Administrative vs. clinical data

In an attempt to compare apples to apples, organizations conducting comparisons among hospitals often use billing and coding data to estimate mortality or complications. This is an easy way to make a comparison because it is information that is available from most hospitals, and the information is available via the computer so it is almost entirely automated.

One limitation related to this approach is that the report often will miss key clinical information that is important to the kind of evaluation we hope patients are pursuing — the severity of the illness or complication.

VCU Medical Center continues to invest in better sources of clinical outcomes information.

Helpful links

Virginia Health Information (cardiac care)

Hospital Compare (part of Medicare.gov)

The Joint Commission