CA website provides hospital data to public

CalHospitalCompare ranks hospitals in 50 areas, more hospitals to join next year.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor
A new Web site launched today makes hospital care quality data available to all Californians, the Contra Costa Times reports.
CalHospitalCompare.org is the culmination of a three-year, $14 million project that sifts through state data, patient charts and consumer surveys from 212 California hospitals, accounting for 70 percent of hospital admissions in the state.

"We anticipate and hope that CalHospitalCompare becomes the gold standard for hospital information," said Dr. Bruce Spurlock, chairman of the steering committee overseeing the project.

The site ranks hospitals in 50 areas, including cardiac care, maternity services and pneumonia treatment. It has 36 patient satisfaction and experience measures. People can search the site by zip code, city, county, hospital name or medical condition. The Web site allows consumers to compare up to five hospitals at once, side-by-side.

The site may be of limited use this year, as participation is strictly voluntary, and many hospitals balked at the cost of compiling all the necessary data. Fifteen omitted hospitals pledged to opt in next year, said Maribeth Shannon of the California HealthCare Foundation. In addition, children's hospitals were excluded from the site this year, but will be invited next year.

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