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Italy slams hospital "excellence" ratings:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The Italian health ministry has slammed so-called "hospitals of excellence" ratings published by healthcare research institutes as confusing to the public and a disruptive influence on the healthcare system as a whole. Such ratings are based on "imprecise assessment methods, on a limited number of indicators and often are out of date", says the health ministry. Such data fuel the public's concerns regarding the quality of specific treatment being provided in centres that are not at the top of the ranking, it says. It believes that "such initiatives fail to respond to the needs of patients who, in the event of serious illness, are forced to resort to highly specialised treatments." The true measure of quality is the overall level of care provided, rather than the specific "impact factors" used for research purposes, it says.

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