Finding quality healthcare in North Carolina may be easier thanks to a new Web site, www.nchospitalquality.org, that allows users to compare hospitals statewide.
The North Carolina Hospital Association launched a site Thursday that offers side-by-side comparisons of the quality of care hospitals provide to surgical patients, pneumonia patients, and people who suffered heart attacks and heart failure.
Those medical conditions have been widely studied and have recognized standards of care, according to the association.
"You can see where the strengths are, and most important you can see those areas that need attention," said Bill Atkinson, chairman of the association's N.C. Center for Hospital Quality, which created the Web site.
The center gathers information already available to the public from Medicare, then compares hospital records to determine whether sick patients improve while being treated at the facility.
The center also scores hospitals based on their use of recognized medical practices that improve patient care, prevent infection, speed recovery and avoid complications.