Next spring, the government plans to release data showing how consumers rate care in hospitals across the country. But Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights, Ill., isn't waiting: Its results already are up on the Internet.
The 412-bed hospital is the first in the Chicago area to disclose extensive information online about the quality of its carean attempt to win customers and bolster its reputation. Patients' ratings are being posted along with data about hospital-acquired infections, care for patients with heart attacks and heart failure, the adequacy of nursing staff and other measures.
It's a bold move in a highly competitive healthcare market, in which hospitals traditionally have held details of what they do right and wrong close to the vest.
"I think consumers have a right to this information," said Patricia Merryweather, senior vice president of the Illinois Hospital Association. "I think we will have other hospitals following suit."
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