As we wrote earlier, Indiana patients now have a tool that will allow them to make more informed decisions about where they receive their care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has added new search data to their Hospital Compare web site.
Indiana medical malpractice attorneys are encouraged by this updated information and believe it will make a positive difference in the care Indiana medical consumers receive. The ability to compare the outcomes of procedures, the quality of nursing care and patient satisfaction will influence area hospitals to invest more heavily in improvements in an effort to capture more of Indiana’s healthcare dollars.
Though limited to only a few specific areas of medical care, the site’s information illuminates frequently requested areas of service, including nursing care, bedsores, pulmonary care and pediatric diabetes. This information can assist patients by evaluating a hospital’s ability to provide adequate care. For example, the site provides encouraging information if you have any need for cardiac care in the Indianapolis metro area. On average, a central-Indiana resident will only wait seven minutes before they receive care in a cardiac specialty facility; this is compared to the national average wait time of 43 minutes.
Unfortunately, the site also clearly indicates areas of care that can benefit from dramatic improvements. Specifically, if you suffer from back pain and live in the Indianapolis area, you are more likely to receive the potentially unnecessary diagnostic procedure of an MRI. While reassuring, this test can drive up the healthcare costs to all Indiana residents and is not usually the first line of medical care for back pain.
The site’s weakness remains the number of medical care areas that have yet to be reported. We believe more information will be helpful to Indiana residents and encourage the Department of Health and Human Services as they complete the information made available to consumers.