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Why Not The Best

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Why Not The Best was created and is maintained by The Commonwealth Fund (link:, a private foundation working toward a high performance health system. It is a free resource for health care professionals interested in tracking performance on various measures of health care quality. It enables organizations to compare their performance against that of peer organizations, against a range of benchmarks, and over time. Case studies and improvement tools spotlight successful improvement strategies of the nation’s top performers. A regional map shows performance at the county, HRR, state, and national levels.

Why Not The Best includes process-of-care measures, patient satisfaction measures (from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), readmission rates, mortality rates, and average reimbursement rates. All of these performance measures are publicly reported on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Web site, Hospital Compare, and include data from nearly all U.S. hospitals. Why Not The Best also includes data on the incidence of central line-associated bloodstream infections, from over 1,500 hospitals across the nation. It also includes measures assessing whether and to what extend hospitals have adopted electronic medical records (from the American Hospital Association survey), as well as measures of population health and utilization and costs, from the Institute of Medicine. Finally, the site includes performance data for a subset of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs), Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs), and Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs).

Users are able to generate their own reports based on selected communities and regions. Data can be exported to an Excel CSV file. Images of graphs can also be exported as a PNG image, a PDF file, or a Powerpoint PPTX file.


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