Q1: What is CalHospitalCompare.org?
A1: CalHospitalCompare.org is a comprehensive report card of California hospital performance ratings that consolidates data from a number of sources. The information is provided to consumers in an easy-to-navigate Web site, available free of charge, in both English and Spanish. As of 2011, more than 232 hospitals, representing over 82% of acute care hospital admissions in the state, have participated in this important voluntary effort.
Q2: What type of information is available?
A2: Hospitals' ratings are based on many performance indicators for conditions such as cardiac care, maternity services, and treatment for pneumonia. Plus, information on patient experience, patient safety, and critical care is provided.
Q3: How does the site work?
A3: The home page offers three ways to search for information: by location, medical condition, or hospital name. Once a user performs a search, a list of appropriate hospitals and their rankings will appear. All pages and available options are clearly listed in navigation bars and tabs. From the search results page, consumers can select up to five hospitals to compare side by side.
Q4: How does it differ from other hospital report cards?
A4: CalHospitalCompare.org offers up-to-date, comprehensive information from multiple sources in an easy-to-use online format available without a fee. The site was tested in focus groups to determine which format was easiest for consumers to understand. The site was designed to combine information from many public sources with new data to provide a comprehensive view of hospital quality. Measures are aligned with national initiatives such as The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum.
Q5: Who developed CalHospitalCompare.org?
A5: An unprecedented voluntary collaboration of stakeholders created the data that is used in the online report card. This group, known as the California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Taskforce (CHART), includes representatives from hospitals, health plans, health care purchasers and the business community, consumers, the research community, and government. The Web site was created and is run by the independent California HealthCare Foundation.
Q6: Who analyzed the data for CalHospitalCompare.org?
A6: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) collects and analyzes the data. The project is directed by R. Adams Dudley, M.D., M.B.A., professor of medicine and health policy at UCSF and is managed by Mitzi Dean, M.S., M.H.A., for IHPS.
Q7: Who funded the development of CalHospitalCompare.org?
A7: The project has financial support from the California HealthCare Foundation and major California health plans and in-kind support from participating California hospitals.
Q8: How current are the data?
A8: The information is the most current available; most measures reflect data from the last two years. The data on CalHospitalCompare.org is updated quarterly, in February, May, August, and November of each year. New measures are added as they are approved and developed.
Q9: Why doesn't CalHospitalCompare.org offer a single overall rating for each hospital (as opposed to separate ratings in the different categories)?
A9: No hospital is perfect in every way. Providing a single score could give the false impression that hospital A is superior to hospital B in all areas, when that is often not the case.