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The 5 Liberty Bells  citizen oriented grading of Public Reporting: Accountability and Transparency  is derived from the following areas of required public reporting.  

◊ Quality of medical care 

◊ Cost of medical care 

◊  Community needs assessment  

◊ IRS report 990 filing of financial performance 

◊  Physician payments sunshine provisions 

◊  Collections policy 

◊ Annual report

Public Reporting, Accountability, and Transparency 



The spotlight on public reporting by the hospital focuses on how effectively and to what extent the hospital provides required as well as other relevant information to the public. Whether to comply with legal requirements, important for competitive advantage or a hospital commitment, transparency and accountability are of great importance to a well-functioning healthcare system. We examine the various aspect of public reporting including how well the hospital provides information about:


  • quality of care it provides 

  • the  cost of care that it delivers

  • information about patient safety

  • community needs assessment and community benefit activity


Additionally, we include a grade for the ease of using the hospital website, and information available to the public. This section includes links to best practices in public reporting and action plan for citizen engagement. The goal for hospital reporting: 100% public reporting of reliable timely and user-friendly healthcare outcomes and other relevant information by Delaware Valley hospitals. 


The 5 Liberty Bells citizen-oriented grading of Public Reporting: Accountability and Transparency is derived from the following areas of required public reporting.  ◊ Quality of medical care ◊ Cost of medical care ◊  Community needs assessment  ◊ IRS report 990 filing of financial performance ◊  Physician payments sunshine provisions ◊  Collections policy ◊ Annual report


Public reporting, accountability and transparency examine public reporting by the hospital and provide a rating scale for the organization’s accountability and transparency.


We rate how well the hospital provides information about the quality of care that it delivers the ease of using its website, and information available to the public about the process of care and other important variables. Our rating reflects the following aspects of the hospital's transparency and making available relevant information about their performance. 


Click here for more about Public reporting, accountability, and transparency including best practice in public reporting, and action plan for citizen engagement.





The Public Reporting: Accountability and Transparency Initiative is guided by the belief that reliable, timely and easy to understand transparent information is an essential component of any well-functioning healthcare system. The initiative’s goal is to make information about the performance of healthcare stakeholders and other relevant information available. It is clear to us that in order to achieve the best healthcare system, we must engage in the healthcare system as citizens, not just as patients and consumers.


As patients, we require reliable information from healthcare providers about medical conditions and treatment outcomes in order to select the best care for ourselves and our families.

As consumers, we require easy to understand accurate information from insurance plans that helps us select the plan that meets your needs and to get the coverage when we need it.                                                       

As citizens, we require timely and straightforward information about how taxpayer money is spent, how tax-supported organizations perform in their stated mission and how decisions are made to allocate limited public resources.


The Initiative focuses on the following areas of public reporting:

Patient safety in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare settings

Quality of medical care delivered in healthcare settings

Cost of healthcare services to patients

Community health indicators

Conflict of interest that affects the various stakeholders


How we do it


The initiative provides easy to use tools as well as examples of best practice in public reporting, as well hospital performance in public reporting. Our Take Action: Tool Box for Citizen Engagement provides tools that assist the user to:


  • engage with the various stakeholders in public conversation about the role of public reporting, the barriers for more meaningful use and the way to improve how public reporting is utilized

  • educate Americans about the importance of public reporting and accountability in an effective healthcare system in general and the health care services in their community in particular

  • create or utilize available relevant local publicly reported healthcare information for patients, consumers and citizens

  • promote political involvement to improve accountability in the healthcare sector at the local, state and national levels

  • create a user-friendly interface to provide health consumers with timely, reliable and relevant information about healthcare stakeholders’ performance

  • recognize healthcare organizations that demonstrate best practice in public reporting

  • facilitate “Contracting” with healthcare stakeholders to achieve the best healthcare outcomes and promote community wellness



About the hospital website’s functionality:


  • How easy is it to find the needed information on the hospital website?

  • Can you find information within a reasonable amount of time?

  • Ease of use and navigation of the web site?

  • Can information be printed in an easy-to-view format?

  • Does the site provide active links to other useful information?


Content of the hospital website:

  • Does the web site provide clear explanatory information about the clinical performance of the hospital?

  • How useful in the information about clinical outcomes? (Presentation of the information, case volume ratings, accuracy, reliability, timeliness of results)

  • Medical errors, adverse events & patient safety

  • Outcomes for medical conditions

  • Outcomes for surgical conditions

  • Information about physicians in the hospital

  • Patient satisfaction of care at the hospital 

  • Cost of medical services delivered at the hospital, including co-pay


Does the web site have easy access to information about how the hospital functions in its community?


  • Calendar  

  • Annual report

  • Policy for public reporting available

  • Governance board meeting


Tools for engagement with the hospital


  • Ability to provide open ended patient feedback

  • Does the hospital have interactive website/social media tools?


Information and tools for improving patient participation in their own care by providing easy to understand content and tools on medical conditions that are relevant to the patient and their caregiver.


Does the web site provide clear explanatory information about the clinical performance of the hospital of the affiliated hospitals?


  • Does the site have a description of the methodology that they use

  • What is the source of the information and how was it gathered

  • Are multiple years of performance available

  • Accuracy, reliability, timeliness of the information


How easy is it to understand the information?  Is it written using jargon-free, easy-to-use language?


Other information about the hospital's performance. 

  • Malpractice events

  • Staffing ratios staff to patients

  • Reports by regulatory agencies

  • State survey finding   


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