Public Hospital Case Study Series Introduction
Compared with other hospitals, public hospitals are generally assumed to face multiple barriers to providing high-quality care: lower revenues; sicker patients who may have infrequent contact with the health care system; and an older infrastructure, particularly related to health information technology. This case study series set out to find how some public hospitals have succeeded in achieving excellence in quality of care, in spite of such challenges. We sought to understand the strategies and factors that contribute to high performance, as well as the barriers and challenges public hospitals face. To do so, researchers examined aggregate quality scores on 23 process-of-care measures reported by CMS, for all hospitals submitting data from July 2007 through June 2008. They selected for case study analysis eight public hospitals from among 14 that performed among the top 10 percent of more than 2,000 public and private hospitals reporting during this period.