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Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Transparency Hospital Comparisons


HHS has released the latest comparison of hospital statistics website with searchable data on outpatient surgical infections, heart attack treatment success and more." Data released Wednesday "appeared to bolster that argument, at least for heart attack patients," which showed "a drop in the national 30-day mortality rate for heart attacks of 0.4 percent to 16.2 percent for the three fiscal years of 2006-09." Also, the new healthcare law will "likely" give the comparison data "even greater weight" because some of the information may be used to calculate hospitals' reimbursements after 2013. 

The Hospital Compare website was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), along with the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA). The HQA is a public-private collaboration established to promote reporting on hospital quality of care. The HQA consists of organizations that represent consumers, hospitals, doctors and nurses, employers, accrediting organizations, and Federal agencies. The information on this website can be used by any patients needing hospital care.

Patients searching for a hospital will now be able to compare how much they rely on medical imaging procedures, which can carry dangerous levels of radiation.

Information on the procedures has been added to, an online tool that lets users analyze and compare data on patient care from more than 4,700 hospitals across the country.

I examined the website and it appeared to be well designed with easy and intuitive interface, and depending on your choice it will display results in either graphic or numeric results.

This tool will give patients a means of analyzing a hospital of choice.  Whether these statistics are accurate, and/or biased by the particular demographics of patient responses, which could vary significantly depending on the patient's expectations of care. The statistics are based upon the percentage.  of patients who rate the hospital at 8 or above. This particular chart did not rate outcomes. 

There are two tabs at the header, one for consumers (patients) and another for professionals. 

The professional tab offers an outcome rating, based upon PQRI requirements, found at QUALITY NET

These numbers are more objective, not based upon subjective assessments by patients.

These tools represent part of   The plan for Open Government, the details of which can be read here.

I believe most patients will select the hospital at which  their doctor chooses to practice , or by convenience, perhaps limited by distance and socioeconomics.

I'd like to hear your comments..GML


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