The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Highlighted Hospitals Weaknesses Study by the Lown Institute

The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Highlighted Hospitals Weaknesses Study by the Lown Institute

The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Highlighted Hospitals Weaknesses

Recently we shared one of DMSG Advisory Board Members, Rachel Rogers, MS, BSN-RN, Assistant Academic Director, Healthcare Management Program, University of Denver, University College’s white paper on our website about the dynamics of determining which hospital to go to for quality care, reasonable cost and accessibility to providers.

Rachel put this white paper together prior to the outbreak of the Coronoavirus. We were interested in finding a way to determine which hospital to go to “if I had a choice”. She did a great job of opening that door to analyzing this difficult process.

NOW, with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the issues of hospital weaknesses have become more pronounced than before. Prior to COVID-19, hospital executives were aware of some concerns about hospitals in general, but now the issues have become more “front page news” so to speak.

So how do we as consumers/patients and healthcare providers/hospital executives expand our understanding of where we as patients want to go or how do we as hospital executives, solve these inadequacies?

One of my favorite hospital executives/leaders, Patty Gabow, MD, retired CEO of Denver Health and Board Member of the Lown Institute, shared with me recently the following story from the Lown Institute which may help us all, both patients and hospital executives.

Here’s the background Patty shared with me:

“The Lown Institute has spent the last two years developing a new hospital ranking method. It utilizes 42 variables in 3 domains for the Medicare population: Patient Outcomes, Value of Care, and Civic Leadership. The outcome data uses a very sophisticated method that is superior to CMS’s method and other published methods.

They have partnered with the Washington Monthly, a DC-based publication that has a highly influential readership. Both the Lown Hospitals Index and the Washington Monthly Best Hospitals in America publication which uses the Lown Index have been released.

The Index is on the Lown website (  It is a very interactive website. I hope you can take a look at it . Many of the “usual suspects” did not do too well.”

My reaction was “this ought to be very interesting” and I wasn’t disappointed. The Lown Institute Hospitals Index does a great job of looking at the 42 variables Patty mentioned under each domain. Then they place a “grade” on the variables and the three domains. I was intrigued with the amount of detail that was included about hospitals in any state, but our primary interest is right here in Colorado.

The three main domains and a few of the variables  are listed below:

  1. Civic Leadership
    +Pay Equity
    +Community Benefit
    +Inclusivity (income, race, education)
  2. Value of Care
    +Avoiding Overuse
  3. Patient Outcome
    +Clinical Outcomes
    +Patient Safety
    +Patient Satisfaction

There is so much more information about the domains and variables when you open the link  You will find it hard to “put it down” so to speak.

Please share the Lown Institute Hospitals Index with others who may not see it here.

One day at a time,

Chris Hadley
Founder and President
Denver Medical Study Group, Inc.


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