Ahead of the Curve
Point, click, read, shop, compare, decide, buy. Or not.
From cars and vacations to real estate and mortgages, the Internet has given consumers the leverage and power of information to shop, compare and make choices about some of the most important decisions a family can make.
“Patients and families need and deserve solid information to make good health care choices.”
Can the same kinds of decisions and choices about hospitals and health care be far behind? In a word, no; they’re already here. According to a special report in a recent issue of the hospital industry trade publication Modern Healthcare, the headline for 2007 is “Consumers Are Kings.” Citing a “rising tide of consumerism,” the article describes how quality initiatives and improved transparency will be major themes in the year ahead.
AAMC is far ahead of the curve in delivering exactly that kind of information to consumers. The “Quality” section of AAMC’s Web site (www.askAAMC.org/quality) made its debut in May 2006. But it took some months to assemble, organize and present the information in way that made it meaningful and accessible.
Since that time AAMC has remained virtually alone in presenting consumers with wide-ranging, detailed and easily accessible information about quality and safety. “An early decision to take the lead in this area came from the very highest levels of the health system,” said Shirley Knelly, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety at AAMC. “Patients and families need and deserve solid information to make good health care choices. We want to be way out in front in addressing that issue.”
“The numbers and comparisons visitors find on our site tell a compelling quality story, of course, and we’re proud of what they show,” said Martha Harlan, R.N., director of Public Relations and Marketing. “But along with those numbers we wanted to tell the story behind them, which is how much quality is ingrained in the culture here, how it’s part of everything everyone does, every day. We wanted consumers to know all about that as well. This Web site expansion is one way we stay connected to sharing our commitment to the people of the region.”
To learn more about quality and safety at AAMC, visit www.askAAMC.org and click on the “Quality at AAMC” link found in the left-hand column on the home page.
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