While the average person may view all hospitals the same way, there are often key differences that can affect the patient’s treatment outcome and long term recovery. As part of the health reform movement in the U.S., the federal government is creating tools to allow people to compare a variety of quality measures. Americans now have access to new information that can be used to take a more active role in choosing health care facilities.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has added new data on its website enabling people to compare the quality of services at 4,700 acute care, critical access and children’s hospitals. The data also covers outpatient and emergency departments, including how well hospitals care for patients with heart attacks.
The information is part of the Compare Care Quality section found at http://www.healthcare.gov/compare/index.html and can also be found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Compare website, www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.
“The more information consumers and patients have, the better the options and choices are for them when it comes to their health care. HealthCare.gov is designed to put the power of information at the fingertips of Americans and our quality compare tools are a critical part of this new website,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“By reporting data on services provided in hospital settings like imaging on Hospital Compare, we can highlight the importance of this issue for patients and their families,” said Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “For some time, Medicare beneficiaries have had access to reasonable and necessary imaging technologies, which have revolutionized how well doctors and patients diagnose and treat a host of diseases. But by adding information to the website, we can help patients and their families to understand the risks associated with these technologies and talk with their doctors about which hospitals are most likely to help patients reduce those risks.”