If you understand statistics and possess the intestinal fortitude to examine a ranking methodology, you will recognize that it involves ingredients that have to be recombined, repackaged and renamed. It’s messy, like sausage-making.

This is not to say that the end product — hospital rankings — are distasteful. Patients deserve valid, transparent and timely information about quality of care so they can make informed decisions about whether and where to receive care. Ratings organizations like U.S. News & World Report work hard to create valid, unbiased hospital rankings out of imperfect data and measures. But the recipe needs to be right.

This post is from Dr. Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Co-founder of Doctella. This is an excerpt reposted from his blog, Voices for Safer Care. Please visit his website to read the full article.