The New York State Department of Health launched a Web site that allows residents to compare how well regional hospitals stack up in certain areas, including the prevention of post-surgical infections, pneumonia treatment, heart attack care and several other key metrics. State officials say the new report cards will encourage providers to raise their standards by applying competitive market pressures.
Hospitals, while publicly welcoming such moves, remain uncomfortable with the idea, noting that such measures are open to a degree of misinterpretation. The real issue, of course, will be how much attention people pay. Five years ago it probably would have been safe to assume that most would have ignored this kind of thing--or never even found it. In an era when people are increasingly comfortable using the Internet to research their healthcare treatment, that may no longer be the case.
ALSO: New York Governor George Pataki said he wants to repeal a recently passed law to create a Web site that allows consumers to compare the prices of prescription drugs. Consumer groups are angry. Article