Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Statistics dont tell the whole story

I have been very happy and comfortable with the quality of my health care. I live near Boston the home of many world class hospitals and the quality of care available in the area is very good. Or so I thought. HealthGrades.com just released their latest list of top cities for health care. So I wanted to see where Boston was on the list. Its not. Neither is New York City.

I was surprised to say the least.Then I started thinking - a very dangerous proposition at times. This is a classic example of how statistics can be misleading. These numbers are looking at the level of care across an entire metropolitan area. While this includes the leading hospitals, it also includes small and large medical centers that may be underfunded or serving a sicker population who are going to have statistically worse than expected outcomes due to their overall health.

So I went through and looked up where I am treated and feel slightly better. Then just for the hell of it I looked up Dana Farber. They have all sorts of physicians listed, many of them have no ratings. And they had no surgical procedures listed. Hmmm.... So what is their rating? I don't know.

More advice on statistics. Ignore them.

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