Web site lets patients shop around for hospitals
People now can compare the quality of care at more than 4,200 hospitals nationwide through a new government Web site.
HospitalCompare.hhs.gov provides side-by-side, hospital-versus-hospital comparisons on 17 measures: eight related to heart-attack care, four to care for heart failure and five related to pneumonia care.
For instance, the Web site, which launched Friday, shows the percentage of a hospital‘s heart-attack patients who, among other treatments, receive aspirin or beta-blockers on arrival and discharge. It also gives the percentage of heart-attack patients who get a thrombolytic agent--a drug to treat blood clots--within 30 minutes of arrival.
For heart-failure patients, the site details, among other things, the percentage who receive an ACE inhibitor--a medicine frequently used to treat heart failure--and the percentage of those who get instructions to help manage their conditions when they‘re discharged.
Hospital accrediting agencies use such indicators to determine whether a hospital is delivering good basic practice. They add up to an impression that‘s easily compared with those of other hospitals.