The Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) today applauded the public availability of new information on hospital quality of care at the Hospital Compare website (  The HQA is a broad working group of hospitals, consumer representatives, physician and nursing organizations, employers and payers, oversight organizations and government agencies dedicated to improving health care quality and making useful and understandable information about hospital quality available to the public.

For the first time, the updated website for consumers and clinicians includes information on how often hospitals take the right steps to treat patients who go to the emergency department because of a heart attack or chest pain, as well as surgical patients receiving care in outpatient settings. Also included are data on outpatient imaging services.  

This information builds on data currently available on how often hospitals take the right steps to provide inpatient care to heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical patients and information on how patients view their care.  

Additionally, the HQA noted today that hospital readmission and mortality rates for patients with heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia, which are updated annually, have been updated to reflect data from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2009.  

The HQA supports efforts to identify meaningful information that the public and caregivers can use in making health care decisions and that hospitals can use to improve the care they provide.  The growing collection of clinical information on Hospital Compare provides an array of information for patients and hospitals.  

What members of the Hospital Quality Alliance are saying about the new information:    Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO, American Hospital Association: "It's important that consumers and patients have access to reliable information on hospital quality that can help them make decisions about their care.  That's why hospitals are committed to being transparent about the quality of care they provide by sharing information at Hospital Compare.  Hospitals also use the information to focus their quality improvement efforts.  Hospitals are committed to making even more useful information available to the public at the Hospital Compare website."  

Marla J. Weston, Ph.D., RN, chief executive officer, American Nurses Association:  "The American Nurses Association applauds HQA's work to build a robust database of quality measures to guide clinicians in improving their practice and inform consumers about the quality of care in hospitals.  Registered nurses provide 24/7 care in the nation's hospitals, and therefore play an essential role in ensuring the high quality of that care.  The data available on Hospital Compare will guide consumers in choosing hospitals to meet their care needs."

Joanne Conroy, M.D., chief health care officer, Association of American Medical Colleges:  "Enhancing quality standards and promoting the availability of this information to the public is an important value of the AAMC and its member teaching hospitals.  The new measures and updated data on Hospital Compare will continue to assist hospitals in improving the delivery of care and allow patients to make more informed decisions about their health care."

Dolores Mitchell, Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project and executive director, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission: "By adding information on emergency departments and outpatient surgical and imaging care quality to Hospital Compare, CMS is fostering increased transparency in the health care delivery system by giving consumers information that recognizes and encourages quality performance.  The Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project is particularly pleased by the addition of hospital outpatient data to the website.  A growing number of patients are receiving care in outpatient settings, but up until now there has been little information available to consumers to make decisions in this area.  With this update, consumers will be able to compare how their local hospitals perform against national benchmarks. This is a significant step toward providing meaningful information to consumers and we join with the Hospital Quality Alliance in commending CMS' efforts."

Chip Kahn, president and chief executive officer, Federation of American Hospitals:  "The new outpatient information, along with the updated care process, patient perception of care and mortality and readmissions outcomes measures, showcase the Hospitals Quality Alliance's ongoing commitment to consumer education and high-quality hospital patient care.  This information, along with the redesign of the overall Hospital Compare website, strengthens Hospital Compare as a powerful resource for consumers and patients and helps hospitals to continue to improve patient health care delivery." 

Janet Corrigan, Ph.D., MBA, president and CEO, National Quality Forum: "Hospital Compare is an incredible resource for consumers.  As patients, we're often flooded with choices about healthcare.  Hospital Compare gives us tools to make more informed decisions about our care.  With these recent enhancements, Hospital Compare includes even more information about outcomes, processes and patient experience of care across multiple conditions, providing an even clearer picture of quality for consumers across the country."

Ivor S. Douglas, M.D., chair of the Society of Critical Care Medicine's quality and safety committee:  "The Society of Critical Care Medicine enthusiastically welcomes the refreshed Hospital Compare website.  The enhanced reporting of hospital outcomes includes key indicators for common conditions that affect the critically ill and injured patients we treat.  SCCM considers these enhancements essential to fostering broad adoption by multi-professional teams of our 'Right Care, Right Now' approach to the consistent delivery of high-quality, affordable health care for all our patients."

Christopher Queram, president and CEO, Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality:  "The addition of information on Hospital Compare regarding the quality of care provided in a hospital outpatient setting is yet another step in the right direction as we strive to provide information across multiple care settings.  Public reporting of quality information at both the local and national levels is critical to improving care and empowering patients to take a more active role in their health care decisions."