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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Jul 23 2012   6:40PM GMT

Patients using CMS web site to help compare nursing homes and hospitals

Posted by: RedaChouffani
Hospital Comparaison

Whether you are looking to buy a new car or kitchen appliance, the Internet has provided us with plenty of information on what are interested in.  This public content provides some insight and feedback from other users on what we intended on buying and can significantly influence our purchasing decision.  But when it comes to our care provider it is a little bit more challenging.

While there are ways to view reviews posted on different sites on how a provider or medical practice was, but the truth is that it is clearly difficult to simply rely on just the Internet reviews to truly gauge if a health system is better than another.  There are many areas that must be evaluated in order to properly compare and differentiate one hospital from another and one nursing home to another.

What matters to any patient is that they will receive the best care they can, and be cared for at one of the best facilities and one with the highest ranking.  With those basis, Medicare has attempted to provide patients with some way to review how hospitals and nursing homes have done based on post discharge surveys as well as scores on quality outcome measures.

Some of the updates included to both web sites as listed in the CMS press release are:

  • Narratives that detail specific findings from inspections of nursing home facilities;
  • Two new measures that report a nursing home’s use of antipsychotic medications;
  • Updated data for quality measures previously available on the site; and
  • Information on nursing home ownership available thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
  • Two new measures that cover potential health risks of imaging services, such as exposure to unnecessary radiation
  • Updated data for existing quality measures.

There are also ratings and reviews published by commercial payers.   These may also provide additional resources for patients to identify providers and organizations details.

Whether your next selection of a hospital is influenced by score cards provided through CMS or simply word of mouth, many of these organizations are aggressively promoting all their awards and achievements, and that can easily influence your decisions.

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