The fifth estate's "Rate My Hospital" Earns an "F"

Ontario Hospital Association urges patients to discuss hospital care with their medical professionals

TORONTO, April 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Ontario Hospital Association President and CEO Pat Campbell issued the following statement regarding the fifth estate's "Rate My Hospital" project:

"Ontario's hospitals are the most efficient in Canada, and offer world-class care to 13 million patients every year.

We are very concerned about the fifth estate's 'Rate My Hospital' project, specifically, that Canadians will use the flawed information contained in it to make decisions about where and when to receive hospital care without the advice of knowledgeable medical professionals.

We urge every Canadian who believes they need immediate medical care should seek it at their nearest possible hospital, and to always discuss their health care needs fully with their medical professionals.

We were involved with the fifth estate's producers throughout the development of 'Rate My Hospital,' and raised very serious methodological concerns about their basic approach to data collection, their heavy reliance on unverified, self-reported data, and their interpretation of the data. The fifth estate's refused to acknowledge these concerns or, it appears, address them in their project. For that reason, we believe that the entire 'Rate My Hospital' project, and all of the hospital ratings, are fatally flawed, lack credibility, and should be ignored.

As we stated to the fifth estate's producers, Ontario's hospitals embrace transparency and accountability. The vast majority of the feed-in information about Ontario's hospitals collected during the development of 'Rate My Hospital' was already publicly available, and had been for some time. Beyond that, Ontario's hospitals were the first to launch Hospital Report, which was recognized as the gold-standard in hospital performance reporting, and also www.myhospitalcare.ca, a public, consumer-oriented website which displays more than 50 performance indicators about every hospital in Ontario.

Make no mistake: there is always room for hospitals anywhere - including Ontario - to improve. Every Canadian has the right to ask questions about their hospitals, whether those questions are about infection control practices, human resources, or anything else. Hospital leaders welcome those questions, because they're committed to improving patient care.

What's important is that the resulting discussions be driven by the facts - not anecdote, and not opinion. We find it unfortunate that the fifth estate has missed this opportunity to make a meaningful, data-driven contribution to the ongoing discussion about how to improve the quality of Canada's hospitals. We urge them to rethink their approach to this project should they want to do it again in the future."

SOURCE: Ontario Hospital Association

For further information:

Amy Clark
OHA Public Affairs
416-205-1433
aclark@oha.com