[ Friday, April 01, 2005 ]


Want to compare hospitals? Here's a very interesting tool from HHS: a website that allows you to check out the hospitals in your area and see how they compare. You can pick a specific hospital or pick a geographic area (city, county, state, etc.) and you get a list of all hospitals in the designated area, and you can pick which of those you want to check out. You then asked what condition you'd like to compare, then what specific indicators relative to that condition you'd like to compare. If you pick heart attack/acute MI care as the condition, the specific indicators are things like the percentage of patients who get a particular treatment at a particular time (i.e., what percentage of patients get ACE inhibitor, PTCA, Beta blocker, or aspirin within a certain period of arrival). You then get some neat bar graphs with national average scores and the scores of the particular hospital(s) you selected. If the hospital has a small sample, you get a warning about that first, but you can click through to get their percentage score.

Of course, the fact that the indicator is there doesn't mean that it's the right treatment in the particular situation at all times, so a low score isn't necessarily a bad score. That's the problem with most quality comparison efforts, deciding what should count and how you fairly weight for acuity, severity, population, etc. But if you have strong feelings about a particular condition or the care that should be given, that's something to look at.

Jeff [10:03 AM]

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