The US Department of Health and Human Services is promoting its hospital ranking system, found at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov through an ad campaign. The website was created to encourage reporting and analysis of medical care in our hospitals. The hospitals submitted healh care data based upon patients' medical records. Apparently, only two criteria are used - patient satisfaction with medical treatment and compliance with recommended standards of care for surgery, heart attacks and pnuemonia. It is important to recognize that these are only two limited ways to rank hospital medical care. Hopefully, additional criteria, such as hospital infection rates, adverse surgical outcomes, and incidents of post surgical complications will be added to the site.
The website contains hospitals in DC, Virginia and Maryland, lists whether they provide emergency medical treatment and acute care, and their compliance with standards of care for particular conditions, also called process of care in the survey. The DC, Virginia and Maryland Hospitals also indicate hospital care outcomes and measures, and patient survey results showing patient satisfaction with their medical treatment. This may be one tool for patients faced with a surgery or other medical treatment in a hospital. The more information available to a patient regarding doctors, physicians, hospitals, diseases, diagnosis and medical treatment options, the better.
The information is provided for adult medical treatment at hospitals, it does not include pediatric medical treatment or pediatric medical care or medical care for any children's injuries or diseases.