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Hospitals Disclose Fall Rates

Starting today, hospitals across Massachusetts are disclosing how many patients fall during treatment or recovery in the latest effort to improve quality through public reporting.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association says there is widespread agreement that patients fall too often and that public reports will identify common circumstances and help create solutions.

The debate, here and across the country, is whether such reporting should be voluntary or mandatory.

The Hospital Association's Karen Nelson says Massachusetts is the first state to volunteer the information.

Karen Nelson: This voluntary effort shows to the public that they share their concerns about what is happening in hospitals, that they are willing to be transparent, willing to share information that was otherwise not available.

Nelson cautions against comparisons between hospitals because this first release is based on just a six-month period.

The Association plans to begin reporting bed sore rates next month.

This program aired on October 15, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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