The National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR®) is currently developing a service for participating hospitals to publicly report National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed performance measures, which are based on clinical NCDR data captured by clinicians. Only NCDR-participating hospitals that elect to allow their performance measure results to be released publicly will be reported.
A primary goal in patient-centered care and shared decision making includes providing patients with information that allows them to understand their clinical condition and to help manage their care decisions. However, clinicians have expressed concerns about how patients might make care decisions based on publicly reported data. In the end, this concern could be a moot issue since only one out of ten cardiologists (12%) have ever had a patient mention either a public report of their performance or their affiliated hospital’s performance.
"The main value of transparency is not necessarily to enable easier consumer choice or to give the hospital a competitive edge. It is to provide creative tension within hospitals so that they hold themselves accountable...we can still commend hospitals that publish their results as a sign that they are serious about self-improvement." — Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital
Two in five cardiologists (40%) who are aware of NDCR approve of the registry taking on the role of public reporting. Slightly more than one-third (36%) are unsure about it, and 24% are opposed to it. The hesitation about this initiative stems primarily from the following three concerns:
- Patients will not make sound decisions based on the data (39%)
- NCDR data is inadequately audited (25%)
- Hospital reporting will quickly be followed by physician-level reporting (23%).
However, cardiologists do see some benefits to publicly reported data. For hospitals, they believe that this can assist with the marketing of quality patient care (70%) and serve as a credible source of clinical data to combat erroneous reports based on claims data (55%). Thirty-nine percent believe that it could increase referrals, while 26% envision possible reimbursement opportunities.
Ultimately, cardiologists do find value in publicly reported data, since three out of four cardiologists (76%) express an interest in gaining access to the physician-level reports based on the data submitted to NCDR by participating hospitals. So, while some cardiologists are not convinced that the NCDR should be in the role of public reporting, many see benefits and would like to have access to this information.