Arkansas Department of Health Launches Public Health Care Reporting Web Site After Participating in MONAHRQ® Learning Network
Because the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) decided to use MONAHRQ ("My Own Network, powered by AHRQ"), consumers and providers in Arkansas can now access a public Web site that reports inpatient discharge data by county. MONAHRQ is free downloadable software that helps organizations easily generate their own health care reporting Web site.
Connie Marie Ardwin, Research Program Specialist in the Hospital Discharge Data Section of the ADH, learned about MONAHRQ during a Web search. She signed up to participate in the MONAHRQ Learning Network, an AHRQ Knowledge Transfer project. The Learning Network provided the technical considerations, resources, and tools enabling ADH to launch its own public MONAHRQ Web site.
MONAHRQ allows organizations to use their own hospital discharge data, measure results from Hospital Compare, or both. Hospital Compare is a Web site managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that provides information on hospital quality. The reporting site that MONAHRQ generates can be made public, protected by password, or used internally. Organizations can choose how their Web site will be used because they create and host it.
Ardwin initially viewed MONAHRQ as a tool to generate internal reports because Arkansas law prevents ADH from publicly releasing data from individual hospitals. However, after collaborating with organizations in States with similar laws, ADH decided to use MONAHRQ's customization options to group data by county. For example, Arkansas' public site shows maps by county indicating potentially avoidable hospitalizations and rates. It also shows county maps of health conditions and procedures.
Participating in the Learning Network enabled ADH to expedite the release of its site. The initial Learning Network meeting in Salt Lake City answered numerous technical questions, and collaboration with organizations with similar experiences enabled ADH to complete the background work to release its MONAHRQ site sooner. "Without the Learning Network, ADH would not have been able to launch the site in 2011," Ardwin notes. "We would have needed to wait for 2012 or later."
ADH will continue to seek assistance from Learning Network members as it adopts newer versions of MONAHRQ. The Learning Network has provided ADH with contacts who will be vital to ensuring that ADH can continue to publicly report data using the MONAHRQ software.