New Jersey's health department released the state's first hospital report card to consumers, providing details on the Web about the performance of 82 general acute-care facilities. Results appear in descending order of overall score as well as by region. The report focuses on measures of quality in treating heart attacks and pneumonia and devotes a half-dozen of its 25 pages to advice for consumers on taking an active role in their care and on patients' rights. "It's one piece of the puzzle. The data is valid," said Ron Czajkowski, spokesman for the New Jersey Hospital Association. "Unfortunately, it is a best-to-worst ranking, and in the public mind's eye that sometimes leads to knee-jerk perceptions as opposed to paying attention to the data itself." The measures are derived from a set of 10 already collected by hospitals as part of the National Voluntary Hospital Reporting Initiative, a public-private partnership that posts data on a CMS Web site. New Jersey joins at least four other states or regions that have a separate report on the Web or in the works: Connecticut, the Kansas City areas of Kansas and Missouri, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Read the New Jersey report. -- by John Morrissey
N.J. releases hospital report card for consumers
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