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Plethora of websites rating healthcare is unhelpful to public, says think tank

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5462 (Published 13 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5462
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Trying to measure how well healthcare is provided in a local area cannot be reduced to a single indicator, the UK health think tank the King’s Fund has concluded in a new report.1 But neither does the current plethora of different scorecards and websites serve the purpose of telling the public whether they are getting a decent service, it says.

A much simpler system is needed to meet the aim of the health secretary for England of “intelligent transparency,” in which improvement is driven by everybody’s ability to see how well or badly everybody else is doing, the report recommends.

Chris Ham, the chief executive of the King’s Fund, said that he strongly supported intelligent transparency, but making it work meant careful attention to selecting and presenting performance indicators. “Done well, performance assessment can help strengthen accountability to patients and the public, as well as …

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