My friend sent me an interesting public web page created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) called Hospital Compare ( Hospitalcompare.hhs.gov ). They report on hospital quality of care based on how often these hospitals provide certain recommended care for adult patients being treated for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, or adult patients having surgery.
Participating acute care and critical access hospitals voluntarily submit their data on treatment from medical records. Information provided by Hospitalcompare.hhs.gov is not gathered on children’s, rehabilitation, or long-term care facilities.
The data provided by hospitalcompare.hhs.gov is useful to patients anticipating hospital care and also encourages hospitals to improve their quality of care. Transparency in health care is important and I applaud the effort of the HQA and CMS for making this informative website available to the public.
Several hospitals collect information on patient satisfaction but it was difficult to compare data since previously there was no standard questionnaire. The same organizations that developed Hospital Compare have also developed a hospital survey for measuring patients’ perspectives of hospital care. It is composed of twenty questions about aspects of the patients’ hospital experience such as:
* communication with doctors
* communication with nurses
* responsiveness of hospital staff
* cleanliness and quietness of hospital environment
* pain management
* communication about medicines
* discharge information
In addition patients are asked to rate the hospital from 1-10 and if they would recommend the hospital to friends and family.
The survey should provide a meaningful comparison of hospitals from the patients’ perspective and public reporting should be an incentive for hospitals to improve. Results of the survey should appear on the Hospital Compare website in March 2008.
Source: By Biologics and Health