Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The importance of data

From the USA Today article:
Data can serve as a tool to identify potential solutions, just as a high blood pressure test not only yields a diagnosis but also points the way to better treatment, says Elliot Fisher, director of the Dartmouth institute, which has pioneered the study of variations in health care by Medicare region.

The goal is to combat rising costs without sacrificing quality, he says.
The Dartmouth analysis shows that in 2006, hospitals in higher-performing regions had up to 14% fewer medical admissions, 17% fewer days in the hospital and 36% fewer visits to specialists, and they spent up to 21% less on medical imaging.

Their overall Medicare spending was 12.7% to 16.2% lower than hospitals with poorer performance.
Click here to access.

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