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Better Hospital Shopping: Try Healthcare Savvy's New Quality Map

WBUR's Healthcare Savvy has just launched an important project: An interactive map of local hospitals that uses official public data to help you, the potential patient, try to find the best place to get the care you need. The photo above gives only a taste of the data; be sure to check out the full Savvy display here.

From the introduction by WBUR's Martha Bebinger:

Hospitals say they are making great strides in gathering quality information. That’s great, but turning it into information we, consumers, can use still has a long way to go. And figuring out which doctors do a better job than their colleagues is nearly impossible to determine, except by word of mouth.

We’re hoping to kick off a broad discussion about where to find the best care, starting with this snapshot of hospital quality in Massachusetts. The scores and ratings you see on the map and bar chart below are not new. This is all public data, collected by private, state or federal agents and posted online somewhere else. We’re pooling a range of quality measures here to offer you a glimpse of how much quality varies from one hospital to the next and to give you a place to ask your questions about what the health care system will and won’t tell you about quality and why.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, let us know. We are putting readers on notice: this is the quality information that is available. We don’t think it’s good enough. Many hospitals agree. We all need to push for more. In the meantime, tell us what other quality information you’re looking for. We’ll see if we can help or let you know why we can’t.

Your input is deeply welcome — and it could help others, as well as yourself. Again, the full project is here.

This program aired on December 4, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth blog.

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