Q: What health conditions and measurements are used as the basis for hospital evaluations on this Web site?
A: Health conditions are divided into 3 main categories: Heart Conditions, Infectious Disease, and Cardiac Surgery. Not all hospitals treat all conditions or report all measures. The types of care and associated measures for each main category are as follows:
Q: Why were the selected measures chosen?
A: Measurements shown pertain to conditions for which data are regularly reported. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 establishes a financial incentive for all hospitals to report quality of care information relating to heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia. The specific measures shown are those that, by broad consensus within the health care community, are considered reliable indicators of health care quality.
Q: What do the numbers mean?
A: The scores presented for each treatment measure indicate the percentage of eligible patients who received the recommended care. For example, an 85 percent rate means that the hospital provided the recommended care for 85 percent of its eligible patients. Not every patient is eligible for all of the treatments, since some patients may have medical circumstances that make some treatments inappropriate for them. Where possible, composite scores for combined individual measures are also presented. Small differences in hospital scores do not necessarily mean that there are significant differences in hospital quality.
Q: Which hospitals are included?
A: All hospitals in New York State licensed by the NYS Department of Health to provide critical, acute and/or primary medical care are included.
For information about hospitals operated by the Veterans Health Administration, visit Veterans Health Administration - Facilities Locator & Directory (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).
For information about mental health facilities, visit Directory of OMH Facilities (New York State Office of Mental Health).
Q: Where does the information come from?
A: The hospital information comes from several sources:
For more information on where the information comes from and how it is used, see Data Collection and Usage.
Q: Why should I study hospital performance? Isn't it the doctor's job to make decisions about where a patient should go?
A: A doctor's recommendation is an important consideration when selecting a hospital. Your doctor may recommend several hospitals, and your health insurance plan may offer several choices of hospitals in your area. For these and other reasons you may want additional information on your choices in order to participate fully in the decision-making process. This Web site can provide you with some of that additional information.
Q: Aren't all hospitals alike?
A: No. There are genuine differences in the specialties, expertise, and experience available at various hospitals. Some hospitals focus on certain types and levels of care and are better equipped for those types than for others. Each hospital employs doctors with their own specialties and abilities.
Q: Does this Web site tell me everything I need to know in order to choose a hospital?
A: This Web site is not intended to be anyone's sole source of information about hospital quality in New York State. Rather, it is designed to provide helpful information that can play an important role in an evaluation of hospital quality, along with other sources including doctor recommendations.