Link: Kaiser Health News
"Medicare Releases Patient Safety Ratings For Hospitals" October 17, 2011 by Jordan Rau, KHN Staff Writer,
Medicare released a new edition of their Hospital Compare website. New data evaluates hospitals on how often their patients suffer complications. This is a new effort to compare facilities on hospital safety ratings, including incidence of medical error and patient harm.
To find a hospital on the site, type in the city and state, click on the hospital name and then select the "Patient Safety Measures" tab at the left. Hospital Compare also gives patients the option of choosing several hospitals at once. The new data covers the period between October 2008 and June 2010.
Hospital Compare was originally designed to help consumers evaluate hospitals when they are planning an inpatient stay, however, it has not been widely used by patients. The American Hospital association's Vice President, Nancy Foster said, "We believe the data is fairly seriously flawed in the way it's calculated. When inaccurate data is out there, it both misleads the public and generates a lot of activity that is unproductive in the hospital."
It is hoped that this new version will provide more accurate insight for clinicians and consumers of health care services.