To help consumers compare hospitals nationwide, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled Hospital Compare, a website that offers data on a wide range of health care quality measures. Connecticut hospitals, for the most part, appear to outperform other hospitals nationwide in most of the areas studied.
The site compiles data based on Medicare claims and enrollment information submitted by hospitals. It compares data on inpatient care as well as on the use of medical imaging studies to give consumers a sense of how a particular hospital is performing in certain areas compared to others. Information on patient surveys, mortality rates, readmission rates and follow-up tests is also found.
Ahead of the National Average
For Connecticut, most of the state's hospitals were well ahead of the national average on 14 of the measures, including:
- The number of minutes patients with chest pain have to wait for an electrocardiogram
- The percentage of patients who receive an antibiotic in the hour before surgery
- The frequency patients receive double CT scans
- The measurements of initial heart function and breathing assessments
- The alternatives available, instead of MRI scans, for patients experiencing lower back pain
Room for Improvement
Although the state's hospitals performed well in overall medical care, in a survey of Connecticut hospitals provided on the Hospital Compare website, some of the facilities slightly underperformed in the area of patients' hospital experiences, especially in communication between doctors and patients. The survey showed that improving the physician-patient relationship would offer consumers greater confidence and security in their care. Improved relationships would also probably decrease medical errors.