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Is There A Michigan Difference In Health Care? New Site Lets You See For Yourself

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An aerial view of most of the University of Michigan Health System hospitals in Ann Arbor.

An aerial view of most of the University of Michigan Health System hospitals in Ann Arbor.

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Just how good is the care at the University of Michigan’s many hospitals and health centers? How safe is it? And what do patients think of the treatment they receive from UM Health System teams?

A new Web site gives patients, their loved ones and anyone else answers to all these questions, and more. From heart attacks, diabetes care and diagnostic scans to intensive care and joint surgery, the new site provides a wealth of data on the quality and safety of UM care.

It also shares data from surveys that ask recent UM patients their opinion of care they received at University Hospital, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, the UM Emergency Department and UM outpatient clinics.

Located at www.UofMHealth.org/Quality, UM says the new site goes far beyond other sites that offer hospital and outpatient care data to the public. Most of the figures aren’t available anywhere else — or are more up-to-date than what can be found on sites maintained by government agencies or health organizations.

The new online hub, called the UMHS Quality & Safety site, features carefully validated and trustworthy information. It also provides patient-friendly descriptions of each item being measured and why it’s important to patients.

Almost every chart or graph also compares UMHS care against state or national top-tier American hospitals, university health systems or children’s hospitals. When such benchmarks aren’t available, the charts compare UM’s performance against tough goals that the system’s leaders have set.

And if UM’s performance on any measure is below the highest standard, the site explains why — and describes what UMHS is doing to improve.

“We’re working to be the safest health system in the country and to create the ideal patient care experience,” says Darrell (Skip) Campbell Jr., M.D., chief medical officer for the UM Hospitals & Health Centers unit of UMHS and an assistant dean of the UM Medical School. “This site shows everyone how we’re doing. We hope it will demonstrate our commitment to excellence in quality of care and service.”

David Spahlinger, M.D., executive director of the UM Faculty Group Practice that includes all 1,625 physicians who provide care at UM facilities, notes that the site will also serve businesses and insurance plans, as they decide on health care coverage for employees. It can also help referring physicians.

“While many forces are driving health care institutions to become more transparent, this site offers a level of openness I haven’t seen anywhere else, and we have far more data we can share,” he says. “Over the coming months, we expect to add more information about other conditions, to make this site even more valuable.”

Right now the site offers data on conditions from the common to the complex, including:

* Heart care
* Cancer care
* Diabetes care
* Intensive care for post-surgical and critically ill patients
* Asthma care
* Pneumonia prevention and treatment
* Joint surgery, specifically hip and knee replacement
* Heart, kidney and liver transplant
* The “patient safety culture” scores based on surveys of U-M doctors, nurses and others
* Hand washing practices by medical team members
* Blood clot prevention in hospitalized patients
* Medical imaging, including radiation dose
* Ratings of care from adult patients and parents of pediatric patients in inpatient, outpatient and emergency settings

More types of care, including more data about children’s care, additional cancer care and patient safety will be posted in coming weeks and months. In addition, the site features stories about efforts UMHS had made to improve its care, and links to other sites where data on other hospitals, clinics and physician groups is publicly available.

The site also features links to the many multi-hospital and multi-physician-group quality improvement efforts that U-M is leading or participating in, and to other websites like Hospital Compare and My Care Compare that provide access to data about many hospitals and physician groups.

For more information, visit www.uofmhealth.org/Quality

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