Which nursing home is best for my loved one? Where should I get my surgery? Consumers often have no clue on choosing a health...

Which nursing home is best for my loved one?

Where should I get my surgery?

Consumers often have no clue on choosing a health care facility for themselves or a loved one.

Sometimes they’re guided by a physician. But having more data about the quality of care at a hospital or nursing home can allow a person to choose more confidently.

The federal agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid has updated two websites that allow consumers to check out facilities near their homes.

The two sites, Hospital Compare and Nursing Home Compare, provide data on quality measures, such as the frequency of infections, how often patients have to be readmitted to the hospital, and the percentage of nursing home residents who report having moderate to severe pain.

Updates to Nursing Home Compare include the actual narrative text of nursing home deficiency reports, and figures that report a nursing home’s use of antipsychotic medications.

The Boston Globe published a series examining overuse of antipsychotic drugs to sedate elderly nursing home residents, many of whom suffer from dementia and are at risk of serious, sometimes fatal, complications when given these powerful medications.

Additions to Hospital Compare include new figures that cover the potential health risks of imaging services, such as exposure to unnecessary radiation.

The sites can be found online at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/ and www.medicare.gov/nhcompare/

 


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Andy Miller

Andy Miller is editor and CEO of Georgia Health News

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