Hospital Compare: Compare Hospitals Online

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently launched a website, Hospital Compare, that allows patients to compare measures of quality of care of more than 2500 hospitals nationwide. The website, which was created by the joint effort of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of DHHS and the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA), is to provide ratings on key measures so patients, as well as family members and health care providers, can make better decision on health care (find out more about the website here).

I tried the service to find a hospital in our area to see how it works. Since I know the hospital’s name, I searched under the Hospital Name and found the hospital I was looking for. The results are given in three categories:

  • Hospital Process of Care Measures, including
    • Surgical Care Improvement / Surgical Infections Prevention Process of Care Measures
    • Heart Attack Process of Care Measures
    • Pneumonia Process of Care Measures
    • Heart Failure Process of Care Measures
  • Hospital Outcome of Care Measures
  • Survey of Patients’ Hospital Experiences

In addition to giving the results in numbers (including the number of patients treated by the hospital) and tables, the website can also present the data in graphs for easy compare and understanding. For example, the following is the picture of the Surgical Care Improvement part which, as you can see, compares the particular hospital against the national average and the average among New Jersey hospitals that participate in this program (hospitals voluntarily submit their data).

hospitalcompare2.png

How useful is this tool?

I don’t really know because I don’t have any medical need right now. But I think the information is quite helpful in the sense that patients, before deciding where to get the medical care they need, can have a big picture on where they could get better treatments for their health issues.

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4 Responses to “Hospital Compare: Compare Hospitals Online”

  1. Lazy Man and Money |  May 26, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Don’t forget about Nursing Home Compare.