Hospital Compare Rates Quality of Health Care

Ernie Shannon's picture
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Unless you have actively researched hospitals in your community prior to undergoing inpatient treatment, you probably know little if anything at all about Hospital Compare. It is a hugely popular site within the Medicare website that statistically compares hospitals across ten questions. During any given month there will be up to a million visits to the site, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and some hospitals are profoundly uncomfortable with what those visitors find.

“We began working years ago with hospitals that saw this as a way to borrow successful practices from other facilities and to highlight their own successes,” said Nancy Foster, the American Hospital Association’s Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety Policy. Most recently, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that central line-associated bloodstream infections or CLABSIs, would be added to the Hospital Compare site. The goal, said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, is to include data about how often these preventable infections occur in hospital intensive care units across the country.

“This step will hold hospitals accountable for bringing down these rates saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars each year,” Tavenner said.

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The grading system is patient based in Hospital Compare and the questions include the following:
1. Patients who reported that their nurses always communicated well.
2. Patients who reported that their doctors always communicated well.
3. Patients who reported that they always received help as soon as they wanted.
4. Patients who reported that their pain was always well controlled.
5. Patients who reported that staff always explained about medicines before giving it to them.
6. Patients who reported that their room and bathroom were always clean.
7. Patients who reported that the area around their room was always quiet at night.
8. Patients at each hospital who reported that yes, they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home.
9. Patients who gave their hospital rating of 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest).
10. Patients who reported yes, they would definitely recommend the hospital.

This writer checked three hospitals, as an example, and found the following results:

1. Patients who reported that their nurses always communicated well.
Mount Carmel Health 77%
OSU Medical Center 77%
Riverside Hospital 79%
2. Patients who reported that their doctors always communicated well.
Mount Carmel Health 80%
OSU Medical Center 77%
Riverside Hospital 79%
3. Patients who reported that they always received help as soon as they wanted.
Mount Carmel Health 61%
OSU Medical Center 62%
Riverside Hospital 64%
4. Patients who reported that their pain was always well controlled.
Mount Carmel Health 70%
OSU Medical Center 69%
Riverside Hospital 72%
5. Patients who reported that staff always explained about medicines before giving it to them.
Mount Carmel Health 58%
OSU Medical Center 61%
Riverside Hospital 62%
6. Patients who reported that their room and bathroom were always clean.
Mount Carmel Health 64%
OSU Medical Center 67%
Riverside Hospital 66%
7. Patients who reported that the area around their room was always quiet at night.
Mount Carmel Health 51%
OSU Medical Center 54%
Riverside Hospital 49%
8. Patients at each hospital who reported that yes, they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home.
Mount Carmel Health 83%
OSU Medical Center 85%
Riverside Hospital 84%
9. Patients who gave their hospital rating of 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest).
Mount Carmel Health 71%
OSU Medical Center 72%
Riverside Hospital 75%
10. Patients who reported yes, they would definitely recommend the hospital.
Mount Carmel Health 73%
OSU Medical Center 75%
Riverside Hospital 82%

Which hospital would you choose?

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