Virtual table of discussion

Page updated on July 20th, 2010

In order to involve all the concerned parties, it is important to take into consideration the patients’ point of view on the possible improvements in provided health care which come from the results of projects such as EUPHORIC. Indeed, it might give added value to the overall results of the project.

Therefore, the aim of this virtual discussion was to include the main patient associations so as to share the rationale and the objectives of the outcome indicators and to present different opinions about the publication of the data resulting from the use of the outcome indicators (for example, in benchmarking hospitals). In fact, some comments were released by epidemiologists that are an important reference at an international level.

Moreover, it is about a constantly current and above all lively debate. An article published in April 2009 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2009;338:b1641) reported that “the UK Department of Health has said it will publish mortality ratios of patients in hospitals in England despite research indicating that the measures do not help to distinguish between the quality of care provided at different hospitals. The department has said that the publication of hospital standardised mortality ratios on the NHS Choices website will allow doctors and the public to more easily compare the performance of local services. But a study published online by the BMJ ((2009;338:b7808, doi:10.1136/bmj.b780 ) criticised the use of the ratios for rating hospitals in England and other countries because their use distorted results.”

Furthermore, some European networks that were interested in the EUPHORIC results and possible further developments were involved in the discussion, especially in connection to patient associations. Read the comments: 

  • Carlo Perucci
    Head of the Department of Epidemiology, Asl Rome E
  • Bartolo Zingone
    Heart surgeon, University Hospital “Ospedali Riuniti”, Trieste
  • Francesca Moccia
    National coordinator for the Tribunal for Patients’ Rights – Cittadinanzattiva