I'm not sure I'm thrilled to know about doctors' death rates. Granted, people want the best heart surgeons. However, I see two problems:
1. Doctors aren't going to want to treat the riskiest patients. That would lower their scores. Do we want good Doctors either shunned because they treat riskier patients or to stop treating the riskiest patients all together? I think not.
2. What happens if these success rates become rankings - and two comparable doctors become one sought after doctor and one guy you get stuck with because the second doctor loses one more patient out of every 500? It could be that success rates are very close, even if their rankings aren't.
Everyone deserves to know just how reliable their doctors are, but sometimes numerical ratings aren't going to be the best measure. Any measure must include what kinds of cases these doctors are taking and they shouldn't become some giant ranking system like a high school class hoping to get into college. Perhaps another measure would be more appropriate - such as a letter ranking from the state. That system could be based on whether or not the surgery worked, if the person survived and how bad the patient cases were.