At Cal Hospital Compare, we rate hospitals on quality measures that affect health care, so you can compare hospitals. Here are some of the measures that you’ll see on this website and why they matter:
- Appropriate timing of antibiotic.Getting an antibiotic within one hour prior to surgery reduces the risk of wound infections. Hospitals should make sure surgery patients get antibiotics at the right time.
- Breastfeeding rates.This rate indicates what percentage of newborns were breastfed during their hospital stay. Although there are many reasons breastfeeding rates vary, hospital staff can help new mother begin to breastfeed before they leave the hospital.
- Cesarean birth rates (or C-sections) indicate the frequency of surgical deliveries of first birth, single, full-term babies in the proper position. Some hospitals deliver more babies surgically than others. Because C-sections pose greater health risks to mothers and increase a baby’s chances of needing treatment within an intensive care unit, hospitals should perform C-sections only when medically needed.
- Death rates.These measures show the percentage of patients who died after being treated for the specific conditions cited. Some hospitals are better than others at quickly identifying possible complications or patient deterioration and treating the case aggressively.
- Hospital-acquired infections.Infections such as surgical site infections, blood stream infections, or infections from a catheter do occur. Hospitals can reduce the spread of these infections with practices such as: hand washing, separating patients who have known infections from those who do not, and proper cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Patients’ experience.These measures show how patients rated their hospital experience.
- Readmission rates.This is the percentage of patients who returned to the hospital within 30 days, which may be due to incomplete treatment, poor care by the hospital team, or poor coordination of care after discharge.
- Transition to home.The care that patients get after leaving the hospital is important to their recovery. Patients were asked whether doctors and nurses talked with them about arranging needed care after leaving the hospital, and whether they received, in writing, information about which symptoms or health problems to watch for.
Does it surprise you to hear about some of these practices? You can’t expect to know everything that goes on in a hospital. You just need to ask about what matters to you.