Although we covered this topic a few years ago, Web sites have improved, so we revisit the topic of hospitals and nursing home ratings.
The Department of Health and Human Services has a site where you can compare hospitals, <http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov>. You can search for a hospital by a specific condition or procedure, or you can do a general search.
If you search by specific condition or procedure, there are limited choices. Once you enter one of the conditions or procedures provided, you can compare up to three hospitals at a time.
If you conduct a general search, you can search by city or zip code and within any number of miles. Hospital information is provided by “hospital process of care measures,” “hospital outcome of care measures,” and “survey of patient experience.” You then can view all sorts of statistics and information regarding the hospitals. You can view the information in tables or graphs.
The <www.hhs.gov> main site is also full of information. You can get information on conditions and diseases, aging, disasters and emergency. The news bulletins are timely and informative. They range from information about the shingles vaccine to the shut down of a seafood company. The links are many and full of great information. On the Medicare site, you can look up nursing homes and review their last health inspection or their nursing staff.
While the World Wide Web has many resources, this site is a wonderful place to start your health-related inquiry.
The site also provides a hospital checklist, with questions for your health care provider and homework for you to answer about the hospital you may enter.
The site also maintains information for Medicare patients on their rights.