In recent years, federal and state government agencies and a number of independent organizations have posted information on their websites about the quality and cost of health care services at our nation's hospitals. This information can be helpful to consumers when comparing hospitals. Unfortunately, the data is not the most recent, and is often as old as 18 months.
The types of health care information reported include both process measures and outcome measures.
- Process measures show how well hospitals are meeting certain standards for care. These measures generally focus on care that has been shown by evidence to lead to better results. An example of a process measure is how often heart attack patients are given aspirin after their arrival to the hospital.
- Outcome measures demonstrate the actual results of care. Examples of outcome measures include complications occurring after surgery or readmissions within 30 days.
HCAHPS Surveys Report Patient Feedback
More recently, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began reporting ratings from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys. These surveys report patients' experiences with teaching, physician and staff communication, discharge planning and service. Patients also are invited to rate the hospital on a scale of 0 to 10 (worst to best) and to state the likelihood that they would recommend the hospital to others.
This web site, hospitalcompare.hhs.gov, allows consumers to obtain information on any hospital that reports its data — and most of us do report. A visitor to the site also can compare several hospitals at the same time. CMS provides an explanation of each measure — what it means and why it is important.
The majority of the measures reported on the website are process measures, but newer measures also include outcomes such as re-admissions and mortality rates.
We encourage you to visit Hospital Compare to see for yourself how John C. Lincoln's hospitals are doing and compare them with other hospitals. Our goal is to provide the best care and service for our community, and we invite you to review and compare.