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The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports on a new online directory that can help patients find superior local health care. In “Comparing Health Care Quality: A National Directory“, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has gathered 224 health care reports that compare regional physicians and hospitals, and organized them by state.
Unlike other sites that simply allow patients to post their opinions of doctors and hopsitals, and are therefore subject to bias, the directory only includes reports that use performance data based on nationally recognized standards on quality and cost. As the Health Blog notes, the service will allow consumers to get “localized, quantitative information on measures such as how often patients in a certain medical practice receive their recommended screening tests or how long mothers typically spend in a given hospital after a cesarean section.”
Many of the reports cover specific states – only Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and Alabama have no such reports, though more generalized information is available. Government organizations and community alliances are among the groups that have produced the reports found in the directory.
“It’s the best snapshot now of what quality looks like across the country,” Michael Painter, senior program officer at the RWJF, tells the Health Blog.