Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Memorial Hospital Receives Best Practices in Hospital Website Transparency Award

Northwestern Memorial Hospital April 15, 2013

Award recognizes outstanding hospitals promoting transparency of quality measures  

CHICAGO, IL – Northwestern Memorial Hospital recently received the 2012 Best Practices in Hospital Website Transparency Award from URAC* and The Leapfrog Group.*  The award identifies outstanding hospital websites that promote transparency of safety and quality measures in a manner that is useful and user-friendly for patients and other customers. Northwestern Memorial is the only hospital in Illinois recognized with the honor and one of only two hospitals nationwide.  

“We are honored to be a recipient of the 2012 Best Practices in Hospital Website Transparency Award,” said Jay Anderson, senior vice president for performance improvement at Northwestern Memorial. “We take great pride in the fact that our patients and their families have access to so many of our quality measures and ratings based on transparency, validity, comparability and relevance.”  

Northwestern Memorial was among the first hospitals in the country to report quality measures online when it debuted one of the most ambitious healthcare websites in the United States in 2009. The hospital dedicates staff resources to keep the data fresh, updating each measure as new data become available. Each measure is accompanied by a brief narrative, citing the original source of the measure, an explanation of the relevant condition, and how the measure is calculated and is relevant to the patient.  

“Many industries have been transformed by the Internet, but healthcare has been slower to adapt,” said Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We are proud to recognize Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a leader in applying the tools of the digital age to build trust with their community.”  

Northwestern Memorial’s website includes more than 300 quality measures that have been developed and tested by independent national experts, assuring that the consumer can use valid, objective information to understand, select and plan for high quality healthcare. Every page on the website has a “feedback” button so that patients and consumers can contact Northwestern Memorial at any time with questions or comments.  

“Our website does not limit measures to those with strong performance results; all quality measures are openly reported and explained on the website,” said Cindy Barnard, director of quality strategies at Northwestern Memorial. “And while our organization is certainly a leader in public quality reporting and transparency, we are always looking for ways to improve the process and enhance transparency.”  

The URAC and Leapfrog Group awards program consists of two parts – The Acknowledgement of Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency and the Best Practices in Hospital Website Transparency Award. The Acknowledgement of Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency is an evaluation of a hospital’s overall website transparency including elements related to design, credibility, literacy and connectivity. Northwestern Memorial was one of only seven hospitals nationwide to receive the acknowledgement and was also recognized with a distinction with honors for exemplary work in hospital website transparency. All hospitals applying and qualifying for the Acknowledgement were eligible to apply for the Best Practices in Hospital Website Transparency Award, in which a team of judges evaluated applications for those hospitals that demonstrate exemplary practices in hospital website transparency and pave a bright path for the future of quality and safety reporting.  

“By applying for and receiving this award, Northwestern Memorial Hospital has clearly demonstrated its dedication to protecting consumers through transparency and quality reporting,”said William Vandervennet, URAC Chief Operating Officer.  

Learn more about Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s quality measures.

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