Hospital quality ratings are prepared by a huge number of different organizations, which makes it difficult for the consumer to learn & compare. A hospital “good” in one service, may not have a strong ranking in another. Most important – do not assume anything, and check more than one source. Three ideas to begin: 1. Check the first few national (all states) listings on this page, below. 2. Check a report prepared by someone in your state – it might be more comprehensive and/or current. 3. If you need certain specialty information, such as heart care information, read a cardiac ratings report for example (subcategory at the top of this page), since some areas are more highly developed. Compare the findings and talk it over with your doctor and, if necessary, community leaders. PS – you can learn a lot by checking reports in other states – about survival, performance, quality standards and consumer responsibilities
Federal government gives 1 to 5 stars and compares hospital ratings for heart attack (AMI), heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, hip & knee, preventing surgery infections, timeliness of Emergency (ER) dept., use of medical imaging in 2016 to 2017. Includes death rate comparisons from heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, COPD, stroke, CABG; and return to hospital (readmission) rates. Click on Timely & Effective Care, or Complications. Shows 2016 volume and patient satisfaction HCAHPS ratings from 2016-2017. Some info on colonoscopies and cataracts. Editor’s Pick because the government standardized broad ratings for all hospitals, and most ratings are based on more than just Medicare patients. However, it is still complicated. Small volume hospitals will not show data for some measures. Be sure to click on Show Graphs or View More Details. Today’s stars may reflect older data than shown at the website. Read the fine print
WhyNotTheBest.org is a helpful website to check hospital ratings, although data are a bit old. Shows trends and in many cases which hospital has the best performance in the country. Currently using 2015-2016 data for most measures. Some measure are older. Heart care, pneumonia, surgery, patient satisfaction, survival rates (mortality) and more. Trends are shown for many hospitals, and you might be able to find Top Performers in the country at this website. Operated by IPRO
Overall hospital rankings based on a summary of readmissions, mortality, AMI (heart attack), heart failure, stroke, blood clot, surgical infection prevention rankings, plus patient opinions and more. Health Insight, a project of Oregon, Utah, New Mexico and Nevada, developed a helpful composite ranking for nearly every hospital in the nation, using at least 30 national CMS measures and satisfaction ratings from inpatients. Results shown by state. Easier to use than the federal HospitalCompare website, but less detail. Dates are a little unclear
Hospital Ratings (5-star, 3-star, 1-star) for over 30 diseases & inpatient procedures: Stroke, back surgery, COPD, diabetes, gall bladder surgery, bowel obstruction, GI Bleed, hip fracture repair, hip replacement, total knee replacement, prostate removal, TURP, hysterectomy (listed under gynecologic surgeries), respiratory failure, pneumonia, cardiac bypass, heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, defibrillator, pacemaker, valve surgery, sepsis, pancreatitis, pulmonary embolism, abdominal aneurysm, stomach surgery, peripheral vascular bypass & more. Probably Medicare-only data for most conditions, although some states provide maternity, appendectomy, and bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) data. More extensive list than the federal government’s site. Publicly-traded company. Most data in 2018 ratings are from Medicare patients, from 2014 to 2016. Click on More to see 3-year patient volume, and actual mortality or complication rates compared to predicted. Patient satisfaction ratings (2016-2017 data) are featured by HealthGrades. One hospital at time, unfortunately
The Leapfrog Group, an employer-based coalition, asks hospitals to voluntarily report how closely they follow recommended quality and safety practices. CLICK on the blue [i] to the right of each green bar chart to find out if your hospital meets survival expectations and volume standards of 50 High-Risk Delivery-Neonatal ICU patients per year. Info on infection rates and early elective cesarean deliveries also reported. Many hospitals participate; easy to compare. Updated for 2017, but period covered is unclear. Leapfrog was a pioneer in getting ratings in the public eye
The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO – Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accredits hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Quality Check provides accreditation and comparison information for hospitals, home health/hospice, laboratories, some nursing homes (called nursing care centers) & assisted living centers, and other health care services. Click on View Report and National Quality Improvement Goals to see actual scores for acute care hospitals 2016-2017
The Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), founded by the American Osteopathic Association, lists names of acute hospitals and their laboratories, critical access hospitals, office-based and other ambulatory surgery centers; behavioral health, and primary stroke centers, that are accredited under the HFAP program. Competitor to the Joint Commission
Compare hospitals on patient satisfaction and quality measures. Unfortunately data time periods are not disclosed at the site. We could find no methodology section at the site. Data could be very old, and you wouldn’t know it. Privately held company. Definitely NOT a site to rely on.
List of Accredited Chest Pain Centers – some with PCI (percutaneous cardiac intervention). Must meet emergency department requirements and standards for timely diagnosis and treatment. List is interactive by state or type of accreditation, including A Fib and cardiac cath. Shows location of each hospital. Provided by the nonprofit American College of Cardiology (ACC)
This directory identifies birth centers accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. Standards are set by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). Birthing centers practice midwifery (midwives) and take a wellness and holistic approach to pregnancy and maternity care
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of NIH, has designated Cancer Centers, and Comprehensive Centers (69 total in 35 states and DC). Search database by state, region or name. NCI-designated cancer centers are characterized by scientific excellence and are research-oriented. Not all states have one
American College of Surgeons offers the Commission on Cancer – Find Cancer Centers or Surgeons – Search by zip code (or city and state) and up to a 100 mile driving distance. Facilities are accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. Accreditation of a cancer center is based on ability to comply with established CoC standards
Use the Find and Compare hospitals tab to view patient satisfaction survey ratings and opinions by hospital inpatients across the US. Side by side comparisons for 3 hospitals at a time, 2016-2017 data. Find out how many patients would recommend their hospital, and the percent who give their hospital a 9 or 10 score. Voluntary hospital participation. Federal government oversees the HCAHPS survey process (H-Caps) – Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems
Find hospitals that have received certification in stroke care (Primary Stroke Centers or two other stroke designations), palliative care, hip and knee, heart failure, inpatient diabetes, perinatal services or ventricular assist devices in the US. Many are listed as having Advanced programs. Other types of certification may be available. Somewhat hard to use. The Joint Commission is the leading accrediting body for hospitals.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities offers the ability to do an online search for accredited facilities with specific rehab programs you may be interested in. Includes Behavioral Health, Pain Management, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord, Physical Rehab, Aging services, and more. Search engine is either simple (just zip code) or very complicated because of its detail, abbreviations and multiple choices