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Comparing Quality of Care

How can I find out if my hospital offers good care for my condition?

Hospital Compare offers the consumer information on hospitals performance on measures of quality.  Some information is based on how well hospitals provided recommended and appropriate care to patients being treated for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia, or who were receiving surgical care.  These types of measures are called process measures.  Another type of measure of the quality of care provided by a hospital is the outcome of that care.  Hospital Compare began posting Adjusted Death (Mortality) Rates associated with hospitalizations for heart attack and heart failure in June 2007

The Web site can be accessed by going directly to www.HospitalCompare.hhs.gov or using the link in the www.Medicare.gov website.

Once on the Hospital Compare site, users can find hospitals by:

1) proximity to a city or ZIP code;
2) specific state or county; and
3) name

After selecting the hospital or hospitals of interest, users can select the information about hospitals that they would like to see.

What can I do with the information on Hospital Compare?

Hospital Compare is designed to help consumers, patients, their loved ones to make better healthcare decisions. The information on the Web site should be used to:

  • Talk to your doctor and other health care providers about the quality of care at hospitals.  Some hospitals have more experience or better results treating certain conditions or performing certain procedures.  Ask your doctor or health care provider which hospital has the best care and results for your condition.  Ask why he or she prefers to use that hospital.
  • If your physician is referring you for surgery, ask how well the hospital performs your kind of surgery, as well as about the surgeon who may work with you, and how many surgeries they perform each year.  Your physician will want you to be confident about all of your health care decisions.
  • Talk to your doctor or health care provider about other patients' experiences with the hospital.  Some hospitals survey their patients in regards to hospital satisfaction.  Try to get as much information as you are able about what other patients think of the care at the hospital.
  • Look at the hospital information on this Web site, as well as other quality information and talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you have. 
  • Ask family or friends about their hospital experiences.  Look on the Web site for the Hospital Checklist.  It can help you ask important questions.
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