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Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:00 AM

Radiocast: Comparing Hospitals to Get Quality Care

Debra: This is Healthcare 411. Looking for a hospital that offers quality care? We’ll tell you how to find it next.


[Begin PSA: Be a Champion for Your Health Care]

Narrator: Former Olympic skater, now orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Debi Thomas.

Debi Thomas: Learning a sport can take time, determination and training. The same thing is also true of a healthy lifestyle. Eat right. Exercise. And Don’t smoke. Be an active member of your health care team. Together you can fight diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. Start training today for a healthier life. Be Active in your health care!

Narrator: For more information go to www.ahrq.gov. A message from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

[End PSA]


Debra: This is Healthcare 411. Have you ever wondered what other people who use your hospital think about their care? Now you can know. A new Web site called Hospital Compare offers patient feedback on hospital stays nationwide. AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy explains why you need to check out this Web site.

Dr. Clancy: All of this information is useful because consumers can use it to make more effective decisions about the quality and value of the health care available to them through their local hospitals.

Debra: So, exactly what type of information is available on the Web site?

Dr. Clancy: Consumers will find three main types of information: Information about quality, survey information on patients’ experiences with their care and pricing information for specific procedures.

Debra: Do you think this information will affect our health care system?

Dr. Clancy: Absolutely. Many hospitals are doing some things well, yet it’s clear that there’s more work to be done. I think the transparency with real patients and the actual care they received will help doctors, nurses, and hospital leaders know what they need to do to improve care at their facilities.

Debra: Check out the Hospital Compare Web site online at hospitalcompare.hhs.gov. To learn about this and other health topics, go to healthcare411.ahrq.gov. I’m Debra James. Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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