Northwestern Memorial Hospital Receives Best Practices in Hospital Website Transparency Award

Award recognizes outstanding hospitals promoting transparency of quality measures

CHICAGO, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.

For more information about Northwestern Memorial Hospital's quality measures, visit http://www.nmh.org/nm/quality-rating-view.

About Northwestern Memorial HealthCare
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare is the parent corporation of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital, an 894-bed academic medical center hospital and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, a 205-bed community hospital located in Lake Forest, Illinois.

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial is one of the country's premier academic medical center hospitals and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  Along with its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry, the hospital has 1,705 affiliated physicians and 6,769 employees.  Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing exemplary patient care and state-of-the art advancements in the areas of cardiovascular care; women's health; oncology; neurology and neurosurgery; solid organ and soft tissue transplants and orthopaedics.

Northwestern Memorial has nursing Magnet Status, the nation's highest recognition for patient care and nursing excellence.  And, Northwestern Memorial ranks 12th in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report 2012 Honor Roll of "America's Best Hospitals". The hospital is ranked in 12 of 16 clinical specialties rated by U.S. News and is No. 1 in Illinois and Chicago in U.S. News' 2012 state and metro rankings, respectively. For 13 years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" guide by Working Mother magazine. The hospital is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Health Care Award and has been chosen by Chicagoans as the Consumer Choice according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey for 13 years. 

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 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/.

SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital



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