URAC and The Leapfrog Group Announce Winners of the 2012 Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency Awards Program

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Awards recognize outstanding hospitals actively promoting transparency of quality measures in a manner that is useful and user-friendly for consumers.

Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency Program

URAC and The Leapfrog Group announced today the winners of the 2012 Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency Awards Program. The two organizations created this program to identify outstanding hospital websites that promote transparency of safety and quality measures in a manner that is useful and user-friendly for consumers. All hospitals that completed a 2012 Leapfrog Hospital Survey and publically report quality and/or safety metrics were eligible.

“These awards are a unique celebration of hospitals that show initiative in protecting consumers through transparency and quality reporting. It is encouraging to see so many hospitals that have implemented leading initiatives in an effort to make a difference in the lives of the consumers they serve,” said John D. Jones, URAC Chairman of the Board.

“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 hospitals that are leaders in applying the tools of the digital age to build trust with the communities they serve.”

The program consists of two parts. 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. This Acknowledgement is based on a set of objective criteria established in accordance with the National Quality Forum’s guidelines for consumer-focused, Internet-based public reporting of health performance data as well as the Model Public Report Elements prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and other research-based criteria. 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.

Seven hospitals received the 2012 Acknowledgement of Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency, with two of those hospitals also receiving a Distinction with Honors for their outstanding work in hospital website transparency:

  •     Adventist Medical Center, Portland, OR
  •     Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
  •     Emerson Hospital, Concord, MA
  •     Hunterdon Medical Center (distinction with honors), Flemington, NJ
  •     Mercy Regional Medical Center, Durango, CO
  •     Northwestern Memorial Hospital (distinction with honors), Chicago, IL
  •     Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth, OH

The winners of the 2012 Best Practices in Hospital Website Transparency Award are:

  •     Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  •     Northwestern Memorial Hospital

“The real differentiator came with the hospitals’ obvious commitment to quality, which was very apparent when looking at their websites,” said Awards Judge Joanna Pineda, CEO of Matrix Group International. “Both of our winning hospitals have sites that are extremely interactive, easy to navigate, contained a wealth of measures information, and designed in a fashion that prompts a deeper exploration of the materials. These websites make it easy for consumers to do their research and make informed decisions about their healthcare.”

Hospitals that have received the award will be identifiable by the award seal on the hospital website. More information about the awards program can be found at https://www.urac.org/hospitalwebsiteawards/.

About URAC
URAC is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. The URAC Health Web Site Accreditation program outlines a framework of best practices that address the operational policies and procedures necessary for quality online operations, and ensures the quality of health care information for consumers. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit http://www.urac.org, follow us on twitter, or visit our page on LinkedIn.

About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power to alert America’s health industry that big leaps in health care safety, quality and customer value will be recognized and rewarded. Among other initiatives, Leapfrog works with its employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high quality care. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care. For more information, visit http://www.leapfroggroup.org/.

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Jessica Lutz
URAC
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