For the first time, the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development surveyed, compared and posted on its Web site mortality rates for the states’ hospitals.
The California Healthline Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy includes comments from:
- Jan Emerson, spokesperson for the California Hospital Association;
- Don Goldmann, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and senior vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement; and
- Joseph Parker, director of the Healthcare Outcomes Center at OSHPD.
State officials hope the new information will help patients make health care decisions and encourage hospitals to improve.
Still, the California Hospital Association and OSHPD both advise patients to look beyond the state’s mortality rate comparison Web site when choosing a hospital. They suggest examining the experience of staff physicians and the hospital’s success in dealing with specific health problems (Kennedy, California Healthline, 2/2).