In a surprising demonstration of business acumen, JCAHO has abandoned plans (reg. req.) to sell hospital data and will instead make the data public.

The JCAHO is the outfit that inspects and then accredits hospitals. Without accreditation, hospitals would lose a major portion of their reimbursement (not to mention garner a lot of bad publicity). Who knows who came up with the original ideal that JCAHO President Dennis O'Leary called, "commercialization of data." The data in question is data that's gathered from hospitals during the accreditation process - something hospitals spend lots of money to prepare and then pay lots more to JCAHO to take and analyze.

The cynic in me thinks that hospital protests about "privacy violations" had more to due with bad feelings over the fact that JCAHO wanted to profit further from work hospitals had already paid them to do. In any event, data that JCAHO gathers surely contains some interesting information. They will garner tremendous good will and possibly a much greater awareness among the general public by making the data public - that beats angering your customer base any day.