Checking up on hospitals

SANDUSKY Even hospitals need a checkup. In an effort to arm patients with information about their hospitals, a Hospita
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Even hospitals need a checkup.

In an effort to arm patients with information about their hospitals, a Hospital Compare Web site was created three years ago.

The site -- a partnership between the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services and the Hospital Quality Alliance -- shows patients how their local hospitals stack up on 22 national standards.

"There's been a big national push for all health care providers to be more transparent in their quality and their pricing," said Tiffany Himmelreich, spokeswoman for the Ohio Hospital Association, a trade association representing 170 community hospitals in Ohio.

Ohio hospitals as a whole tend to be on average or even slightly above average nationally on most scores.

"The Ohio Hospital Association is very supportive of the Hospital Compare effort," Himmelreich said. "We're looking to that as the National benchmark of 'quality' information for patients."

Himmelreich said these statistics are helpful to consumers and hospitals.

"Hospitals do use quality reports to evaluate their processes," she said.

The Web site, hospitalcompare.hhs.gov, provides information on how a hospital does in caring for patients with the following medical conditions -- heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care improvement/surgical infection prevention. The surgical component was recently added.

The data is voluntarily submitted by the hospitals based on their medical records.

The information available now reflects data collected from 2006 for Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk, The Bellevue Hospital, and Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton .

For rankings, see today's Register or the ePaper