OKEMOS, Mich. (WLUC) - A new website — VerifyMICare.org — launched Tuesday by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association gives consumers and patients easy access to important information about the quality of healthcare provided at hospitals across the state.
The website, created voluntarily by the MHA and its member hospitals, provides quality data on a range of infections, C-section rates, readmissions, mortality, retained surgical items, early elective deliveries and more. Visitors to the site can easily see how Michigan hospitals are performing on quality measures and can compare hospitals side-by-side. There are no charges or fees for using the website — all data on the site can be accessed for free.
Until now, timely and reliable information about the quality of care at Michigan hospitals has not been easily available to the public. With the launch of VerifyMICare.org, visitors can easily access quality of care data compiled from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the MHA’s Michigan Inpatient Database, and information voluntarily provided to the MHA by hospitals across the state.
“A better-informed healthcare consumer is better prepared to be a patient or to care for a family member or loved one who is a patient at a hospital,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “Based on the work of the MHA Keystone Center over the last 15 years, we know that informed, engaged patients lead to better care and outcomes, so our hospitals are absolutely committed to providing healthcare consumers with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.”
Peters said the MHA is working with a task force of member hospitals to continue making the website more useful to patients in the future by adding information about prices for healthcare services at Michigan hospitals.
“When it comes to providing patients with useful and meaningful quality information, VerifyMICare.org is a big step in the right direction.” Peters said. “However, our journey isn’t over. The MHA will continue its members to improve the data available on the website in the future – specifically to include price information.”
The MHA and Michigan hospitals have been national leaders on improving the quality and safety of healthcare. For example, during the 15-year existence of the MHA Keystone Center, Michigan hospitals have voluntarily worked together on groundbreaking programs to reduce medical errors, strengthen the quality and consistency of patient care, improve culture and patient safety and more. This voluntary effort has been nationally acclaimed for saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars in hospitals across Michigan and beyond.
While VerifyMICare.org is a valuable source of information, patients should not base their treatment decisions exclusively on the information it presents.
“VerifyMICare.org is useful tool for healthcare consumers, no question, but patients and their families should make their treatment decisions based on more than just this or any single website,” Peters said. “Talk to your doctors, ask questions, explore other sources of information about your medical condition and treatment options. An informed patient can make the best decisions for his or her care.”
Through the MHA, Michigan hospitals in the mid-1990s were among the first in the nation to voluntarily report hospital-specific quality measures. In addition, through the MHA and under the guidelines of federal law, Michigan hospitals are participating in the MHA Keystone Center’s Patient Safety Organization (PSO) to voluntarily identify adverse events and pursue corrective action. By analyzing patient safety data, the PSO further encourages a culture of safety through the dissemination of information on how to effectively minimize patient risks in hospitals across the state.