THE headline is what will catch the eye: Buckinghamshire hospitals have 'the highest death rate' in England.
Dr Foster Hospital Guide has revealed that the Hospital Standardised Mortality Rate at Bucks Hospitals NHS Trust was 18 per cent higher than the national average, and 'topped' the league table.
Of course you have to burrow into the detail a bit - 'lies, damned lies and statistics' - and the trust has already said it disputes the figures, if not in their tenor then at least in their compilation. In other words, something is amiss and we need to look into it but do not beat us up about it too much.
For patients this offers some comfort, but anyone with a relative on in hospital at the moment, particularly one undergoing an invasive or potentially life-threatening procedure, will want the bigger picture too.
Clarity is essential and, sooner rather than later, hospital trusts and Dr Foster - which does a valuable scrutiny job - and, yes, local media organisations such as ours, need to be speaking the same language.
The trust says the way the figures are compiled is to change, and apples must be compared with apples, and oranges with oranges.
Cheryl Gillan MP and Bucks County Councillor Noel Brown are also unhappy with the figures and want an explanation, and certainly they can help to act as a catalyst for change.
We look forward to a time when an information culture is the norm, clarity paramount and patients can see at a glance how their local hospital is doing across a range of measures.
This is the least they deserve.